I assume this varies from different universities/research institutes/countries, however, is there a general percentage or ethical rule on how much money from a grant can or should be spent on food and meetings? When I was a graduate student I didn't need to deal with this too much, but also never really saw any of my advisors going out to nice dinners or having meals with people on research funds, granted, they did do it with the internal budgets of the institute.
My current situation had me get a grant for around 20,000 USD, the project is 8 months, and was asked to list how much money I will spend on food and meetings. I had always thought of this to be inappropriate as research money should be for research. Am I over thinking it and this is a normal practice? I was told 1k of the 20k could be for food, but asked for 200 instead, out of my own thinking of what should be appropriate for giving students or interns coffee (this is separate than the money reserved for travelling to conferences).