Students in Free Enterprise has received two $1,000 grants for Feed My Starving Children by participating in the Sam’s Club Environmental Sustainability Challenge. The challenge provides an opportunity for SIFE teams and Sam’s Club associates to work together to empower Sam’s business members to raise the quality of life and standard of living in their communities.

The SIFE team from the University of St. Thomas partnered with the Eagan Sam’s Club for its third annual participation in the challenge. The goal was to identify a small business that could benefit from sustainable practices in the areas of waste and recycling, energy and water, and people and community.

The team chose to work with Feed My Starving Children, a nonprofit organization in Eagan that packages and distributes food to “God’s starving children hungry in body and spirit.” The team was awarded a $1,000 grant from the Sam’s Club Environmental Sustainability Challenge and an additional grant of $1,000 from the Eagan Sam’s Club to implement sustainable practices at Feed My Starving Children.

At Feed My Starving Children, the SIFE team noticed the amount of paper towels the business used on a daily basis. In response, the team proposed installing Xtreme Air hand dryers, which use 80 to 90 percent less energy than traditional hand dryers, to reduce waste.

The team also plans to install LED exit signs, motion sensors and water-saving toilet systems. The new toilet systems can help save up to 50 percent on water usage. Feed My Starving Children has many offices, work spaces and warehouses that are occupied at different times and sometimes are left empty. In order to save electricity, the SIFE team proposed using motion detectors and energy-efficient power strips.

For more information about the challenge, visit the SIFE-Sam’s Club Environmental Sustainability Challenge website.

SIFE works on service projects throughout the year that apply business and economic concepts and an entrepreneurial approach to improve quality of life and standard of living. To learn more or to become a member, e-mail SIFE. All majors are welcome.