Serving Food on Campus

Effective Date
Director of Residential and Dining Services


  • It is important that the College have enjoyable, safe food at events on campus.
  • The College adheres to the exclusive contract with our campus food service provider.

This policy applies to:

Anyone who plans to serve food on campus.

Section I - How to serve food on campus

1. Food served on campus must meet Health Department Standards

All food sold or served on campus must be processed, stored, transported and served by methods which effectively prevent microbial growth, contamination or adulteration. In addition, except for Student Group Bake Sales and Potlucks, all food must be:

  • Obtained from Health Department approved wholesale or retail sources, and/or
  • Prepared in a Health Department approved location, e.g., restaurant, bakery, or approved campus food service, and/or
  • Prepared and served by persons with valid food workers cards.
  • Event and workers must be appropriately licensed.

2. Event Organizers must follow Health Department Guidelines for Exception Events.

Events permitted an exception by the Steward (See Section 2, item 1. in this policy) must follow requirements set by the Thurston County Health Department, including, but not limited to: Temporary Food Establishment Permits, Food Handler’s cards, safe food handling guidelines, etc.

3. Private Evergreen Events funded with private or personal funds may use Campus Catering or follow the Potluck Guidelines.

Potluck Guidelines

  • Food and beverages may be prepared and consumed by individual campus departments or groups. Examples include students and faculty in an academic program, or members of a campus office or a student group.
  • Many members of the group must bring food to qualify as a potluck.
  • Sponsors of and participants in potlucks must follow food safety procedures to reduce the risk of food-borne illnesses.
  • Potlucks that are publicly advertised or open to the public are not allowed.

4. Serving Alcohol at events on campus requires a banquet permit

  • In accord with rules adopted under student governance, no alcohol can be consumed at student sponsored or housing sponsored events.
  • The faculty or staff person in charge of a college event where alcohol is provided or consumed must assure that alcohol is not used illegally, dangerously, or abused, whether the event takes place on campus, at a retreat, in a private home, or elsewhere. For on-campus events, a liquor or banquet permit is required and must be posted at the event. This process is initiated in the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs (Library Building, room 3236).
  • Alcohol can only be consumed at events where food is served.

5. Student groups may sell baked goods to raise funds for college related projects.

Bake Sale Guidelines

  • Student groups must complete and file a College Production Report at least two weeks before the event.
  • Baked goods must be individually wrapped in food grade plastic or foil, or food must be covered and have serving utensils available.
  • Acceptable bake sale items include (but are not limited to) cookies, muffins, donuts, fudge, fruit pies, cake, breads, candy and similar items.
  • Bake sale items which are not acceptable include (but are not limited to) beverages, cream filled foods, meringues, home canned foods, whipped cream, cream cheese, pumpkin pie, cheese cake, custards and similar items.
  • Students are responsible for compliance with the S&A tabling policy ( and the College Cash Handling Policy (

Section II — Who can serve food on campus

1. The currently contracted campus food service provider has exclusive contractual rights to provide food to the campus — with specified exceptions.

The campus food service provider has exclusive rights to provide catering to campus. In addition, the campus food service provider has exclusive rights to provide food by operating the board dining and retail dining in the following areas: the Greenery, the Market, the Corner Store, Seminar II Café, and the C3-Express.

Exceptions to the food service contract for providing retail dining on campus:

  • Student Group bake sales (See Section I, part 5, this policy.)
  • The Flaming Eggplant
  • The Organic Farm produce stand
  • The CRC Concessions

Exceptions to the contract for providing catering on campus:

  • Potlucks
  • Traditional Native American meals served in the Long House
  • College events held off campus
  • Food workshops or food labs that are credit generating work as part of an academic program or course.
  • Six (6) other special campus community events as approved by the Director of Residential and Dining Services per year (requires completed Food Policy Exception Form )

2. The Tacoma program is exempt from using the Olympia campus food service provider

  • The Tacoma Program may work with Conference Service to arrange to use the Olympia Campus food service provider for events on the Tacoma Campus, or
  • The Tacoma Campus may work directly with the campus food service provider.
  • Event Sponsors at the Tacoma Campus must follow the guidelines of the Tacoma/Pierce County Health Department for temporary food establishment permits, food handler’s cards, and other requirements.

3. Outside food service providers are not allowed to provide food for events on campus unless an exception is approved by the Director of Residential and Dining Services

  • If an outside licensed food service provider is approved to prepare food for an on-campus event, they must have or obtain liability insurance in the amount of $1,000,000 for the event.
    • The event sponsors may obtain the required insurance.
    • Proof of insurance must be provided to the office of the Director of Business Services two weeks prior to the event.
  • If an outside food service provider is approved, the food service provider must have either a current Thurston County caterer’s permit and a caterer’s event permit, or a temporary food establishment permit from the Thurston County Department of Health.


Campus food service provider — the company with which Evergreen has a current contract to provide food service on the Olympia campus.

Catering — Selling food for groups on campus.

Campus Potluck — a food event that is privately funded by the participants, where all group members bring food dishes to share with others in the group.

Private Evergreen Event - A small affiliated group holding a non-publicly advertised gathering, and using non-State funds. For example: classroom treats, office parties, employee birthdays, or similar gatherings.

Public Advertising - announcements made via general distribution lists such as TESCCrier, Faculty DL, Staff DL, newspaper, email, posters, etc. made available to the campus and/or external community are considered public advertising.

Public Evergreen Event — An event funded with public or private funds that meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • Has been advertised to the public (see Public Advertising definition)
  • Provides food to invited guests, paying or not
  • Happens on campus

Temporary Food Establishment - A temporary food establishment permit is required from the local Health Department when food is served to the public. Please visit Thurston County Health Department — Food Safety for details. (Not required for Bake Sales, or Potlucks.)


RCW: Chapter 28B.63 RCW

WAC 246-215

WAC 246-217

See Also