Food Policies

Policies regarding food can be found in numerous places in the Student Organization Resource & Policy Guide, based on a couple of factors.


Different buildings on campus have different policies regarding food, so your best bet is first to determine where your event will be held and then to research that location. Here are a few resources to help with that.

Some event locations restrict use of outside food vendors. Generally, the Wisconsin Union and University Housing require that events held in their facilities must purchase food from the Wisconsin Union or University Housing, respectively, with the exception of pizza which may be purchased from an off campus vendor. For any exceptions, including specific cultural foods, contact the Wisconsin Union and University Housing directly. Please check the Space Reservations Policies section for more information on specific regulations based on location.

If the event is held in a university facility that allows the purchase of food from an off-campus food vendor, the vendor must be Licensed and have an Insurance Certificate on file with the University’s Risk Management Office. Check if off-campus food vendors have a License and Insurance Certificate on file on the Risk Management page.

If you are selling the food:

There is helpful information on the Fundraising page under “Fundraising Opportunities” about selling food. Specifically, read this section to find out about sales of homemade goods (bake sales) which are not allowed on campus unless you purchase special insurance from the Office of Risk Management and not allowed under any circumstances on City of Madison property.

Funding for food:

There are several sources of campus funding for Student Organization events. Most of these sources do not fund food, however. You may want to prioritize using your organization’s funds or donated funds for this part of your event budget. On the link above, check out the AIS, Wisconsin Experience Grant, and the WUD grants for funding of food.