Business Services

Purchasing Food and Beverages

Effective date: April 28, 2015

This policy only applies when using Chart 1 funds to purchase food/beverages which are not covered by/included in an event registration fee.

Alternate rules for purchasing food and beverages:

  • For Chart 2 and 3 funds, contact University Advancement
  • For Service and Activities (S&A) fees, see S&A Guidelines
  • Associated Students policies

Cheat sheet to determine what forms are required for your food purchase.

For meals during travel status, follow the Authorizing and Reimbursing for Travel for Official University Business policy (POL-U5348.10).


POL-U5348.16 - Purchasing Food and Beverages


PRO-U5348.16A - Purchasing Food through Aramark Services
PRO-U5348.16B - Purchasing Food with P-Card and Outside Vendor
PRO-U5348.16C - Purchasing Food from Outside Vendor Using Personal Funds


  • Chart 1 - Food and Beverage Approval Form - FRM-U5348.16A
  • Chart 2 - Food and Beverage Approval Form - FRM-U5348.16B
  • Justification for Use of Non-State Facility - Form

Applicable Regulations

Washington RCW 43.03.050
State Administrative and Accounting Manual 70.10; 70.15; 70.20;
Federal OMB A-21 (Sec J32; J17)

Question & Answers

Attendee List Requirement

What if the event is an open invite to a department or multiple departments and the actual attendees are not known prior to the event?

On the FBA form Section III (Event Information), indicate the name of the groups that are being invited to the event. For example, “Open invitation to Biology Department faculty and staff.”

What if the invitees are known but may not want to be listed by name on a public document as having attended the event due to privacy issues?

On the FBA form Section III (Event Information) indicate, “Invitees include faculty and staff; names are being withheld to for privacy reasons.”

* Food purchases made with grant funds may have different requirements in regards to providing.

Aramark Catering Requirement

If we are renting space at a Bellingham venue that requires us to use their catering services, do we have to request an exemption from Aramark?

No. However, the following are Bellingham venues that allow Aramark to cater are:

  • Squalicum Boathouse
  • Lairmont Manor
  • Fairhaven Ferry Terminal

Attendee Fees

The policy does not require a department to seek pre-approval for food if the cost of the food is to be covered by an “attendee fee.” What constitutes an “attendee fee?”

Examples of an attendee fee are:

  • A conference registration fee
  • A vendor fee to participate in a campus fair
  • Field trip course fee


Nicole Goodman,
BFA Policy Coordinator/Internal Controls