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At work in the Sharpstein Elementary School kitchen Paula Merson (center) scoops out trays of homemade macaroni and cheese from a large pot while Karin Bowman (left) and Taren Hartzheim (right) wrap hamburgers in preparation for school lunch later that morning.

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Schools focus on nutrition in lunch menus

The challenges include tight budgets that encourage using precooked, frozen foods that require less labor to prepare.

For Pam Milleson, director of the Walla Walla Public Schools Food Services department, the balance is in offering choices children will eat, while staying within the $2.74 that the government reimburses per child.'We would love to be able to do that,” she

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