Food policy

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Earlham College supports departments and student organizations in planning meetings and events that support the social environment for the campus community. At the same time, the institution must ensure relevant parties are involved in decisions involving institutional funds. We need to maximize to the greatest extent possible the overall value obtained from the use of institutional funds and to minimize the dollars leaving the campus except in circumstances that will overextend the College’s catering resources. 

Food policy 

Earlham Dining Service (Metz) is the sole approved food service provider on campus. It retains the right of first refusal to provide food for catered and served food events on campus using College funds or third-party contracts. 


  • Timeline:
    • Events serving seventy-five (75) or more requires three (3) weeks’ notice. 
    • Events serving less than seventy-five (75) require two (2) weeks’ notice. 
    • Menus, including special dietary restrictions, must be finalized one week prior, with final counts and account numbers confirmed at least three (3) business days before the event. 
    • Events with less than five business days prior approval will be limited based on availability and may require pick up. 
    • During New Student Orientation, Homecoming, and Commencement weeks, ALL events requesting food must be approved by the Office of Events and the Office of Academic Affairs giving three (3) weeks’ notice. 
  • No catering service will be finalized without time, location and account number as reserved in 25Live. 
  • Buffet service requires a minimum of fifteen (15) people; events serving less than fifteen (15) will be charged at the fifteen (15) person rate. 
  • Buffet and served events require a minimum of 1 ½ hour. Pre- and post-event for setup and tear down. 
  • Drop-offs require 30 minutes pre- and post-event for setup and teardown of the space. 
  • No food may be taken from a catered event to ensure food safety. 
  • Some venues may require an additional service charge based on accessibility and lack of direct access to approved kitchen facilities, etc. 
  • All cancellations must be made via email to the Office of Events at even[email protected] and Metz Catering Manager at [email protected]
    • More than three business day notice – no charge unless items were ordered strictly for the event. 
    • Less than three business day notice – 25% of total and cost of items ordered strictly for the event. 
  • Basic linens are included with catered meals. Linen colors must be discussed with the Catering Manager and ordered at least two (2) weeks in advance. There is a charge for linen when food is not being requested. 
  • Pick up of food items are available to save on costs. 
  • A service charge will be added to catering events less than $25. 

Permitted food items 

  • Candy – Candy is acceptable provided that all candy is prepackaged and individually wrapped. Unacceptable candy includes opened and sorted or any bulk candy that is not individually packaged. 
  • Prepackaged food – This usually includes party-size snacks (i.e., bags of chips, cookies, pretzels, etc.). Prepackaged items requiring temperature control (heating or cooling) are not permitted. All prepackaged food must come from a licensed food manufacturer. 

Non-permitted food items 

  • Potlucks – Potluck meals are not permitted due to potential risks related to transporting items that require temperature control (heating or cooling) and unsanitary food preparation conditions. 
  • Bake Sales – Bake sales that include baked goods, such as cookies, brownies, cupcakes, etc., are not permitted due to potential risks of unsanitary food preparation conditions or the mislabeling of food allergens. 
  • Homemade food – Homemade foods are not allowed to be served at events because they pose a risk to the health safety of the community. Homemade food/foods that have to be prepared (i.e. food that needs to be temperature controlled; sandwich fixings) are not permitted at any event. 


If you wish to apply for an exemption from this policy to provide food from an outside vendor, email the Office of Events at [email protected] and Metz Catering at [email protected] to obtain the Food Exemption Request Form. The form must be completed at least three (3) weeks before the requested exception. 

Meals should be purchased at the most economical restaurant fitting the occasion, and the total cost of the meal not exceed the applicable per person daily meal rate below. Excessive meal costs that exceed the rates below may not be approved. 

  • Breakfast: $13 
  • Lunch: $14 
  • Dinner: $23 

Pre-approved food vendors 

The pre-approved food service vendors listed maintain the documentation on file with the College’s Office of Events and Earlham Dining Services. If a vendor is not included on the College’s Schedule of Pre-Approved Vendors, the department or student organization requesting food service is responsible for providing the necessary documentation to verify that the Food Vendor Requirements meet this policy. 


  • Food liability waiver 
  • Liability insurance 
  • Board of health certificate 

View the pre-approved vendor list.

Failure to comply with the above requirements will result in the food service vendor being prohibited on campus until The Office of Events and Earlham Dining Services has approved all necessary paperwork. 


The Office of Student Life shall review and approve all food service requests from student organizations. Department convener(s) shall review and approve all food service requests from their department(s). 


For departments and student organizations paying for food with a College p-card, the following forms are required. 

  • Catering Exemption Request Form signed with appropriate approvals. 
  • Itemized receipt/invoice with the restaurant’s name, date, location and amount of expense. 

Questions regarding this policy may be directed to the Office of Events in the lower level of Runyan Center.

We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.
We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.