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Food Purchases

Per the North Carolina State Spending Guidelines, food can only be purchased in the following instances:

For projects starting with  2xxxxx,  31xxxx – 349999 and 4xxxxx

  • The purchase of food, coffee, tea, drinks, candy, snacks, break refreshments, etc. for consumption by employees or guests is prohibited from state operating funds under all circumstances other than those provided for under university and state travel regulations. The travel regulations provide specific guidance as to allowable reimbursable expenses for meals when in travel status. State budget regulations do provide for the purchase of refreshments for coffee breaks not to exceed $5/person for meetings/conferences which are planned in detail in advance, with a formal agenda or curriculum, where there is a formal written invitation to participants setting forth the calendar of events and the detailed schedule of costs, and there are ten or more participants per day Departments may exceed the $5 refreshment allowance for external conferences if the cost is incorporated into the conference fee.

For projects starting with 35xxxx  – 39xxxx there are two exceptions to the guidelines stated above:

  • For Student employee training  – Food may be purchased for required student trainings that are six hours or more.  The Pre-Authorization Form must be completed and approved prior to any food purchases.
  • For Students – purchasing food for student programming is allowed – must include information on event with receipt, such as a flyer, facebook post, etc.  .

Expenditures from auxiliary funds must follow the same guidelines used for state funds except when used for certain program related activities.  In all cases, state funds expenditure guidelines must be followed when using the funds for staffing an office or carrying on activities which are similar to state funded activities.  No extra benefits, compensation, food or any other item which could not be paid from state funds may be provided to university employees.

For projects starting with a 5xxxxx (Grants), 6xxxxx (Foundation) or 9xxxxx (Trust) the individual Grant guidelines, Foundation or Trust project trust fund authority would need to be referenced in order to ascertain if food can be purchased for students and/or employees.

These rules refer to food purchased in a restaurant (dine in or take out) or at a grocery store.

All allowable food purchases require

  • The business purpose such as information on the student event or program. This could include but it not limited to a flyer, Facebook post, twitter post, etc.
    • Be sure this includes the date and time of the event/program.
  • List of attendees if 25 or less; estimate of number of attendees if more than 25
  • Affiliation to university (open to all students, open to all students in Tucker hall, etc)
  • Details of purchase including vendor/itemized receipts/amounts*
  • Funding source
  • Purchases of alcohol requires signature of Dean, Vice Chancellor, or higher.

*Purchases at a restaurant require two receipts – both the bill showing the detail of the food and beverages that were purchased and the credit card receipt showing the bill amount, tip and total of the charge.