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Modest Meals and Light Refreshments

Finance and Administration

Modest Meals and Light Refreshments

Departments may occasionally provide modest meals and light refreshments at meetings, events or functions where CCNY business is conducted.  Departments must be cognizant of the potential for abuse in this area and closely monitor the appropriateness of any such expenditures from tax levy funds.

Refer to the CUNY Guidelines for Meals Served at On-Premises Business Meetings for regulations that clearly define the use of tax-levy funds for meals and refreshments. 


To provide food, meetings must adhere to the following:Payment or reimbursement of meals and refreshments at meetings must be regarded as anatypical event, and NOT as a routine business practice.

The meeting must be at least 2 hours long and must include attendees other than departmental staff.

The number of attendees must equal or exceed the number for whom food was ordered.

Every effort should be made to schedule business meetings during customary business hoursand not during times where meals are typically taken.

The below are costs in which tax-levy funds are NOT allowed:

  • Social Events:  on-site social events, such as office parties, birthdays, retirements, funerals, graduations, student or employee recognition events are not allowable costs and should never be paid from tax levy funds.
  • Alcoholic Beverages: or related costs can NEVER be paid for or reimbursed by tax-levy funds.
  • Offsite Staff Meetings:   meals solely for CUNY employees taken offsite, while not in Travel status, must NOT be paid from tax levy funds under any circumstance.
Please also refer to the Meals & Refreshments Changes, which highlights the revisions to the CUNY Guidelines for Meals Served at On-Premises Business Meetings.