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Food Fundraisers and Reserving Blue Tents

Food Fundraisers and Reserving Blue Tents

Welcome to our video tutorial on how to do
a food fundraiser at the Belltower. This video will walk you through reserving
a blue tent, getting food training, and getting a food permit for those days. As a prerequisite to this video, you need
to have your two Reservers set in HighlanderLink and you must have waited 2-3 days for their
system to refresh, so that the right people can reserve a blue tent. Now on with the show. Let’s start with the basics. Every Tuesday and Wednesday, there are eight
blue tents available near the Belltower that student organizations can use to sell or give
away food. If you’re making food, it must go through
tents but special exceptions might be granted for prepackaged food without temperature requirements
might be given out at your table at the Belltower without a tent. The first step in the process is to reserve
a tent. Every Tuesday morning at 9am, the tents open
for two weeks later. These reservations go pretty fast considering
there’s only eight tents available, so mark your calendars for the Tuesday two weeks before
your preferred dates. You’ll login to and search
for “food sales.” If you don’t see any of the eight spots
available, you can choose a Waitlist option but this is highly unlikely, as most groups
follow through with their food sale. Now the exception to this rule about when
they open… The first Tue and Wed of each quarter become
available on the Tue of the prior Finals Week. During Finals Week itself, there are no food
sales. If you reserve one of these tents, you can
assume that you’re good to go, so you can then begin the other steps in this process. The only reasons you might be denied is if
you fail to do these other steps or fail to followup when you’re asked questions. Again, this is rare. After you have a reservation, you need to
go through a quick process through an office on-campus called Environmental Health and
Safety, or EH&S for short. There’s two things to do here. The first is that a certain number of people
in your organization need to be trained on food safety. To serve cold or pre-packaged food, you need
to have two members trained. To serve hot food, you need at least three
members trained. These are minimum numbers, it’s always better
to have more of your members trained. Now, how do you do the training? First, you’ll go to
and look for food safety training. The video is only 26 minutes and the training
is good for 2 years. Every person inside the blue tent needs to
complete this training, so it’s a good idea to have as many members as possible do it,
just to be safe. Keep in mind that only 6 members can be inside
the tent at a time, so with extra members trained, you can switch out. Once someone completes the training, they’re
now eligible to apply for a food permit. While the training is good for 2 years, the
permit is only good for one day. So you would apply for permits every time
you’re reserving a tent. Visit the EH&S website at, you’ll
see a button for Food Permits. These permits are free. On this form, you’ll specify what you’re
preparing, where you’re buying it, and other info. Once it’s approved, EH&S will email you
a permit to print out and put up when you get to your tent on the day of. If the HUB requests a copy, you can forward
this document to HUB Scheduling at [email protected] so that they know you’ve completed it. If you can include your org’s name and the
reservation # you received when you reserved the tent, that’d be helpful. You need to complete the food permit 7 business
days in advance, so once you reserve a tent, you have a week to do the trainings and get
the permit, leaving you with a week to prepare for your fundraiser or make any changes based
on feedback from either the HUB or EH&S. The person who submits the permit may be contacted
by EH&S for additional information. Be sure to check your email. Now let’s talk about what you’re making
or selling. The easiest route is to buy food from an approved
source and re-sell it. So this might include selling tacos from a
nearby restaurant or selling Jamba Juice. You are allowed to buy these food or drink
items and re-sell them but no one from that company is allowed to be in the tent or allowed
to help you sell the products at all. If you buy food or drink, you’ll include
this info and the vendor you’re using in your reservation and food permit. You’re still responsible for keeping this
food safe at the proper temperature. If you want to make food, everything must
be prepared in the tent and you’re responsible for bringing all of the gear required to do
so. If you want to bring a grill, it must be propane
only, no gas grills are allowed. You also can’t use charcoal grills. If you need a lot of electrical plugins for
stoves or grills, you can doublecheck with HUB Scheduling that you have enough outlets
available. Again, you cannot prepare food off-site and
then bring to the tents to sell. We need to make sure you’re cooking it in
the proper conditions and we can’t verify that if you’re preparing it somewhere else. Let’s now run through what the day might
look like. Food sales don’t begin until 11am and last
until 2pm. You have from 9am-11am to do any prep work
to get ready for that 11am start time. When you arrive, here is what will be provided
for you. You get a tent with mesh netting walls. You get two folding tables inside, power outlets,
and a sink and handwashing station for you to use, located outside your tent. Anything else must be provided by you, including
gloves and hair nets. You can bring a car in to bring these supplies
but your car can only drive in before 8am and after 5pm, so it might be more convenient
for you to bring your things in some other way. HUB Scheduling has rolling carts that you
can use and they can be checked out through the HUB Scheduling office at HUB 353. You will be visited during this time by professionals
from Environmental Health and Safety, to make sure you’re doing everything properly and
to doublecheck that everyone in the tent is listed on the food permit and has done the
proper training. Be sure to keep the mesh netting closed at
all times. This helps keeps flies and bugs out of your
tent. You can sell until 2pm at the latest and must
be cleaned up and out of the tent by 2:30pm. Here are some other tips to make sure you
have a successful fundraiser. Consider what you’re selling and what season
it is. Selling hot chocolate when it’s 80 degrees
out or selling ice cream in the middle of Winter may not be a great idea. Also consider selling something that isn’t
already available near the center of campus, so students may be more excited about buying
from you. Also consider how much you’re buying the
food for and how much you intend to sell it for. Buying expensive ingredients or buying too
many ingredients can result in a loss, even if your fundraiser is relatively inexpensive. Think simple and things you can buy in bulk. You want to have cash available to break big
bills, as well as potentially utilizing technology to accept credit and debit cards for your
sales. We encourage you to do your own research into
what tools might work for you, though none of these technologies are directly supported
or endorsed by the university. It’s okay to accept cash only, if you don’t
want to risk using third-party technology. With that, we hope you have a successful fundraiser! With questions, you can either direct them
to HUB Scheduling or Environmental Health and Safety. Their offices, emails, and phone numbers are
listed on the screen. Good luck!

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