Food and Beverages

NCA&T Policy on Food and Beverage Purchases

It is the policy of NCA&T SU that food and beverages for most meetings cannot be paid for with state funds. A department cannot use state funds to support or underwrite (such as paying for food or beverages) a meeting, assembly, conference, seminar, rally, celebration, or similar function by whatever name called that promotes any cause or purpose other than the mission and objective of the department. State funds cannot be used to pay for employee or student parties, birthday parties, retirement parties/lunches, and other similar functions. Please see the below information for clarification on when state funds may be used to purchase food, which is for conferences, board meetings, and training sessions.

Meals and Day-to-Day Activities

A state employee may not be reimbursed for meals from state funds in conjunction with a congress, conference, assembly, convocation or meeting, or by whatever name called, of employees within a single state department, institution or agency, or between the employees of two or more state departments, institutions or agencies to discuss issues relating to the employee's normal day-to-day business activities.

Meals for Required Employee Attendance

A university employee may be reimbursed for meals, including lunches, when the employee’s job requires his attendance at the meeting of a board, commission, committee, or council in his official capacity and the meal is preplanned as part of the meeting for the entire board, commission, committee, or council. Such board, commission, committee, or council must include persons other than the employees of the University.

Requirements and Limitations for Training Sessions

Departments sponsoring training sessions may use state funds to provide refreshments for "coffee breaks" provided there are twenty or more participants and costs do not exceed four dollars ($4) per participant per day.  State budget regulations mandate that the meeting/training session be 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.

Alcoholic Beverages and "Set-ups"

Payment or reimbursement for alcoholic beverages can not be made from state funds. Individuals must bear these costs. They can not be included in registration fees or paid from state funds. Law enforcement personnel in pursuit of their duties are exempt from this provision

Conference Meals

The federal OMB requires the state of North Carolina to treat federal funds in the same manner as state funds. Federal, state, or institutional trust funds may be used for conference expenses as long as conditions attached to those funds allow for that use.  Registration fees charged for conference attendance would help defray the burden on these fund sources.  Please note that meals may not be provided to university employees if the conference does not charge a registration fee. Unless a registration fee is charged, no meals may be provided to university employees.

State appropriated funds can provide refreshments for an internal conference’s “breaks” provided there are 20 or more participants and costs do not exceed $4 per participant per day.  State budget regulations mandate that the meeting/conference be 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.

G.S. 138-6 does not allow a “state employee not in travel status” and who did not pay a conference fee that included lunch to request reimbursement for the lunch. 

Exceptions regarding Conference Meals

University departments cannot use state funds to pay for conference meals for employees at which a conference fee was not charged, unless the following conditions are met:

Federal funds may be used for meals if the federal grant specifically states that funds may be used to provide meals for a conference. It must be specifically noted in the grant documentation. If this is the case, then meals may be provided to university employees even if a registration fee was not charged. The employee may not request reimbursement for the meal.

Unrestricted institutional trust funds are used to pay for conference meals. A university employee may be served a meal even if a registration fee was not charged. The employee may not request reimbursement for the meal.

For the purposes of this policy, overhead funds follow the same guidelines as state funds.

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