Food Reimbursement Policy

Policy updated: November 1, 2017

Meal Expenses While Traveling

University travelers are expected to make reasonable selections when purchasing meals or buying groceries.   Up to three meals per day are reimbursable. This includes purchase of meals at a venue or buying groceries for meal preparation. Reimbursement claims for food require receipts. 

 When a meal is provided by a lodging facility or as part of a conference/official function/event, then a claim for purchasing another meal is not allowed. 

Snacks in addition to three meals are considered personal maintenance items and are not allowed for reimbursement.

Reasonable tips for meals will be reimbursed. Tips should not be entered separately on the employee expense voucher as items of miscellaneous expense but should be included in the cost of the meals.

In most situations, meal expenses incurred in the city or town in which the residence or primary work location of the employee is located are not reimbursable.

No reimbursement may be made for alcoholic beverages and related taxes/tips.

Expense reimbursement requests must be submitted no later than 60 days after the final day on which expenses were incurred.

Detailed receipts are required for all food/meal expenses equal to or greater than $5.   Each request must be fully itemized, including the amount, date, place, and essential character of the expense incurred.  This applies to all employees.  If you have questions, please call Accounting at (402) 472-2881.

Please see Food Reimbursement FAQs for additional information.

Use this chart to determine qualifying reimbursable meals


One Day Trip

First Day
of Multiple Day Trip

Last Day
of Multiple Day Trip


Yes, if departure time is at or before 6:30 am

Yes, if departure time is at or before 6:30 am



Not allowed

Yes, if departure time is at or before 11:00 am

Yes, if return time is at or after 2:00 pm


Yes, if:

Departure time is at or before 5 pm and return time is
at or after 7 pm

Yes, if departure time is at or before 5:00 pm

Yes, if return time is after 7:00 pm

Note: Meal reimbursements for one day trips are taxable income and must be reported by the University to the IRS after the traveler exceeds $200 in a twelve month period (December 1 through November 30).
Travelers using personal vehicle or privately owned aircraft on official travel will not be reimbursed for food or lodging expenses incurred while en route.

Amount for Reimbursement
Nebraska statutes state that "...only actual employee expenses are to be reimbursed." Therefore claiming per diem rates is not allowed.