NEW YORK (AP) - Urban school districts in California, Florida, Illinois, New York and Texas are joining forces to coordinate their school lunch planning.
    
A spokeswoman for New York City schools said Wednesday the coordinated lunch planning will help the districts keep costs down while providing healthful food choices.
    
She said the districts also will purchase ancillary items like trays in bulk.
    
To kick off the effort, students in all six districts were being served the same lunch on Wednesday. The menu included chicken, brown rice with seasoned black beans, steamed green broccoli, fresh fruit and milk.
    
In addition to New York City, the alliance includes public schools in Chicago; Los Angeles; Dallas; and Miami and Orlando in Florida.
    
The six districts serve a total of nearly 3 million lunches every school day.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)