USD SIFE, Coyoteopoly students help Campbell's 'Can Hunger'

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) and members of Coyoteopoly at The University of South Dakota teamed up in 2009-10 to “can hunger” with Campbell’s and finished second in a national competition, “Let’s Can Hunger,” sponsored by the soup company.

More than one hundred students in SIFE and Coyoteopoly at The U collected more than 14,000 food items for a series of competitions in which participating teams develop creative solutions to help Campbell’s in one of the world's most enduring challenges. The team of USD students finished second in the Urgent Hunger Relief portion of the competition, behind the University of La Verne (Calif.), earning $1,500 from Campbell’s for their efforts. Other categories in the company’s “Let’s Can Hunger” Challenge included Lasting Hunger Relief, Hunger Awareness and Overall Competition winners.

“It was a good project for our students,” noted Mark Yockey, Ph.D., associate professor of management and SIFE advisor. “They like getting involved in projects that benefit the community and being able to incorporate it into a service-learning opportunity is an important goal of the organization.”

Both student organizations, SIFE and Coyoteopoly, helped raise more than $12,000 in net revenue for the project.  All food items and monetary donations received were donated to the Vermillion Food Pantry. Beyond partnering in this competition, both student organizations are active throughout the academic year in the community.

“SIFE entered Coyoteopoly in their national SIFE competition, so everyone benefitted from this project,” added Greg Huckabee, associate professor of business law and chair of the Division of Management, Marketing, and Law at USD. “In the process the students learned business by practical application.”

Coyoteopoly, since its inception six years ago, has donated more than $108,000 to local organizations, including $13,153 this spring to the City of Vermillion. According to Huckabee, the donation will be used to purchase park benches, trees and trash containers for the community bike path, and banners for Cherry Street.Established in 2004, Coyoteopoly is an interdisciplinary service-learning project that integrates finance, marketing, management, accounting, operations, production, and business law principles to reinforce classroom and course learning while providing derivative benefits to the city of Vermillion and surrounding community.

SIFE, a nonprofit organization that works in partnership with business and higher education to help students develop leadership, teamwork and communication skills through learning, practicing and teaching the principles of free enterprise, has participated or developed several local projects. Some of USD SIFE’s recent activities include traveling to the Pine Ridge Reservation to teach entrepreneurship and marketing skills; preparing inmates in a Yankton, S.D., prison for job opportunities following their release; and developing corporate partnerships with industry leaders like Wells Blue Bunny. To participate in SIFE, students do not have to be business majors or enrolled in the Beacom School of Business program.

For more information about these programs, please visit www.usd.edu/business or contact the Beacom School of Business at (605) 677-5455.