857: Food And Beverage

Policy reflects Minnesota statute and aligns with other District 270 policies.

I. General Statement 

Expenditures of public funds are permissible when they meet the following criteria:

A. Expenditures are authorized.

B. Serve a public and educational purpose.

C. Are provided for such activity as will serve the benefit to the community as a body and which, at the same time, is directly related to the functions of the District. Our intention is to give great consideration and sensitivity when utilizing resources to provide refreshments, food and beverages at District meetings. To that end, the Hopkins School District follows these guidelines.

II. Community Meetings 

When seeking to engage families, sharing food and beverages is both a symbolic and practical strategy of engagement.

Therefore, site administrators are charged with:

Determining the modest provisions, food and drink, suitable to the type and duration of any such community meeting, and meeting the District’s nutrition guidelines, for the express purpose of intentionally building community connections and increasing parent/student engagement and involvement in the educational process.

III. District Meetings 

Food, beverage, and refreshments will be considered an appropriate expenditure under the following circumstances:

A. Faculty staff or parents are asked to volunteer their time serving the District’s mission and purpose, by participating in District designated meetings that occur before or after the official workday. 

B. Administrators are asked to consider these critical questions to assist them in determining the appropriateness of specific expenditures:

1. determine the rationale that compels the meeting to be held over a meal time rather than at some other time during the duty day.

2. Assess the necessary benefit derived from eating while meeting or meeting while eating, as distinguished from just meeting. Is food really needed at this meeting?

C. Examples of District-related/necessary meetings that have a compelling reason to schedule participants over a mealtime include, but are not limited to:

1. Annual all-day administrative retreat

2. All-day staff development meeting

3. Executive staff meeting over a mealtime when persons cannot meet at other times and the topic was of high priority

4. Situations when employees are required to work late to serve a specific purpose of the District

5. Off-site or all-day strategic planning meetings.

Guidelines for Celebratory Gatherings, Entertainment, or Gifts

Food, beverage, and refreshments related to entertaining or celebratory gatherings are considered the responsibility of the individuals who choose to attend such gatherings with the exception of the Annual Employee Retirement Dinner. Food, beverage and refreshments served at these celebratory gatherings should follow the District nutrition guidelines.

A. Therefore, the District will not use public funds toward this end and will rely upon donations or other forms of securing resources from those who will be in attendance.

B. It is not permissible to gift employees for services already paid. An expenditure will be deemed a “gift” if no consideration was received in return, in the form of services or other value.

C. The District shall pay the food cost for the retiring employee at the Annual Employee Retirement Dinner.


Adopted: May 22, 2003 Revised: December 2012
Reviewed: April 21, 2016