OVER 500 of our readers have had their say on whether school meals should be free for every child.

This comes after Southampton City Council pledged nearly £850,000 towards supporting families in the city during this year's summer holiday.

Discussions about free school meals are frequently had, especially with public figures like Marcus Rashford spearheading national campaigns. but what do the people of Southampton think about the question posed?

Here's what they had to say.

One reader said: "Yes. Most definitely. If you ask me, government funding for schools should supply uniforms, books accessories and free hot meals.

"Every child should be entitled. Parents can supply extras and luxuries.

"And while you're at it, make feminine sanitary products free and available to every school girl and student."

One commenter spoke of their personal experience.

They said: "I think children should get free school meals. I was raised by my father when my mother passed away, and I didn’t get free school meals. My father would send me to school with 50p when the school dinner allowance was £3.

"My father was a proud man that didn’t claim any benefits and would come home from work quite late, so we wouldn’t always get dinner.

"For me, a hot meal at school would have been the only meal I would have gotten.

"My point is why should a child go hungry because of whatever their situation is at home?

"They never choose this life it was chosen for them."

However, other people had differing opinions on the matter.

A reader said: "No. Feeding your child is part of the commitment to having that child. I choose to have a dog.

"Should I expect help from tax payers to feed my dog, or assistance with vet bills? I think the answer would be no."

A similar sentiment was shared by another commenter.

They said: "Parents need to take responsibility for their kids and that includes paying for/providing meals. What happens when the school is closed?

"People will complain it is not fair that they have to support their own kids. It should be means tested with additional UC benefit paid during the holiday weeks."

One reader added: "I understand that some kids don't get fed well at home and understand the need for free school meals, but where on earth is all the money to provide these meals supposed to come from?"

Do you think school meals should be free for all children?