If Labour wins the forthcoming general election one of their aims will be to reduce the growth of food banks operating in the UK says Rachel Reeves, shadow work and pensions secretary.

Speaking in The Guardian, Reeves said the rise of food banks was ”a sign of a failed welfare state”. The report claims that the number of people given food support by volunteers at one specific food bank organisation, the Trussell Trust, almost trebled to nearly 1m people a year. Blaming an emphasis at the Jobcentre level on sanctioning welfare recipients for relatively minor infractions, Reeves claimed the “government says that they don’t have targets for sanctions but they clearly do.

“Sanction policy has been about getting people off benefits rather than getting them into work and it has had a devastating impact on a lot of people and their families.” Reeves’ own constituency of Leeds West has gone from no food banks in 2010 to four current distribution centres.