Nine things you said about hundreds of Sunderland children losing free school meals

Hundreds of children no longer receive free school meals due to changes in the benefits system.
Hundreds of children no longer receive free school meals due to changes in the benefits system.
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Parents have reacted angrily to news that hundreds of Sunderland children are no longer eligible for free school dinners.

Almost 600 pupils in Sunderland who could claim free school meals five years ago are no longer eligible for them.
Children can claim free school meals if their parents receive certain benefits, but as the number of claimants has dropped in recent years, thousands of children have lost their right to free meals at school lunchtimes.

The Child Poverty Action Group warned that the drop risked leaving some children without their only hot meal of the day.

Echo readers reacted angrily to the news, with Adeleine Stubbs writing on our Facebook page: "Children should have free meals until they go to senior school."

Stephanie McCluskey said: "Why are working parents being targeted again? We try our best to work long days to provide a good life for our kids, but because we’re not on the dole our children have to suffer. All children should receive meals at school"

Caroline Brown agreed: "Every child should get a free school meal, as some working parents cant afford it either. If you want the children to learn healthy eating then put your money where your mouth its. One less meal out for the councilors could save a fortune too."

Angela Dalzell said: "In this day and age children need a hot meal, as many don’t get breakfast or tea. This Government is robbing our kids of the basics for life."

Susan Ophield wrote: Every child should have a right to a free meal, for some it's the only meal they get. The only cutbacks we need to make is councillors' and MPs' perks. This world infuriates me - let rob's from the poor to give to the rich."

Lesleyann Tokes commented: "School is compulsory, therefore I think they should be provided with their lunch, no matter what their parents' financial situation is."

Shaun Keelan was another who laid the blame squarely at the door of ministers, saying: "Once again the government [is] making the poor and working class suffer at the expense of 'austerity'."

Mark Worthy said: "People in prison get free meals so why shouldn't all kids get them? It's a joke."

But Bruce Glen took the opposite view, asking: "Why should the school do it for free when us parents should be giving their kids a hot meal every night? Kids don't need two hot meals every day - mine have a packed lunch for lunchtime and a hot meal every night."