Meals Allowance

Officers and employees of the State and political subdivisions shall be reimbursed the actual cost of meals incident to official travel, not to exceed the daily maximums for the specific location of assignment.



Maximum daily rates are established every six months by the Department of Finance and Administration.  Rates remain in effect until otherwise notified by the Office of Procurement and Auxiliary Services (Procurement Office) of DSU.

Current rates may be found at

The amount allowed for individual meals shall be at the discretion of the department head, provided that the total does not exceed the maximum daily expenditure cited above.  Meal reimbursements are not allowed within the official duty station. Alcoholic beverages are not reimbursable.
Any fees charged for attending the official meetings of a convention, seminar or similar convocation where the meeting includes a meal are excluded from the daily maximum. This means that an employee will not have the fees for these meals counted against the daily maximum.
If these official meeting meals cause the total daily reimbursement claimed for meals to exceed the maximum daily expenditure set for that city, the employee can request reimbursement for these fees by claiming them as “Other Authorized Expenses” and by providing a valid original receipt.

Expenses incurred for meals during international travel are reimbursed on actual expenditures.

Effective March 1, 2014, University Accounting will not require receipts for reimbursement of meals expenses while in an official travel status. Though internal departments may require this documentation, the receipts are not to be submitted with the travel reimbursement forms. With the elimination of the receipt requirement, the university will only reimburse 50% of the daily meal allowance on the days of departure and return. Exceptions can be approved by the Vice President for Finance & Administration if recommended by the traveler’s respective Vice President or the President. Detailed receipts for all meals on the departure and return dates will be required for an exception to be considered.

High Cost Area Meal Allowances
In-state and out-of-state high cost areas are those cities designated in the Federal Register as having a prescribed maximum per diem daily rate of $100.00 or higher. DSU will reimburse ACTUAL meal cost in those cities based on the rate scale found at
Taxable and Non-Taxable Meals
DSU does not reimburse taxable meals, which are meal expenses incurred during official travel where an overnight stay is NOT required.

Meal Tips
Meal tips should be included in the actual meal expense unless the inclusion of the tips would cause the meals to exceed the maximum daily limitations placed on meals by the Department of Finance and Administration. If the daily limitation would be exceeded, the employee is allowed to record meal tips for each day under other authorized business expenses. Total meal tips shall not exceed 20% of the maximum daily meal reimbursement claimed.

Group Meal (Business Meal)
University employees may be reimbursed for the cost of group meals while carrying out their employment duties. A group meal is defined as a meal for one or more University employees and one or more individuals that are not employees of the University. In other words, if two or more individuals from the University have lunch together, the costs would not be allowed as a group meal. Each employee would be personally responsible for his or her own meal cost. The request for reimbursement for group meals will be excluded from the travel reimbursement and will be submitted on a requisition to the Procurement Office with an itemized receipt for the cost of the meals. The requisition will indicate the names of the persons in attendance and the nature of the meeting. If the average cost per person exceeds $25.00, the appropriate vice president must approve the reimbursement. The University will not reimburse any employees for the cost of alcoholic beverages consumed with the meal.
The policy covers group meals for persons in travel status as well as group meals of an official nature here in Cleveland.
Approved group meals will not be treated as travel costs but will be accounted for as commodities (object code 6440, Food for Persons).

Group Meal (Faculty/Staff Only)
A business meeting involving only faculty and staff of Delta State University may include a meal as long as the expense is approved by the next higher administrator prior to the meeting.

 The meal cannot be an appreciation type meal. An appreciation meal is a personal expense. Snacks (cokes, chips, cookies, etc.) for regular scheduled meetings will not be allowed.

Responsible Office and/or the Policy Owner:  Office of Procurement and Accounts Payable



  • Revised Effective Date: 03/01/2014