Friday, September 5, 2008

Recession Hits Middle Class in Record Numbers in Advance of Holidays

Many middle class families are finding it hard to pay their grocery bills, a number of kosher retailers told KosherToday. This was confirmed by the Met Council on Jewish Poverty and a number of other Jewish agencies that help the poor.

One Boro Park retailer said that it has become very difficult to collect outstanding bills from people “who used to pay like clock-work.” Thumbing through his ruled notebook, he pointed to people who are considered “very respectable” in the community.

The number of foreclosures in such neighborhoods as Flatbush is also said to be rising, another indicator that the recession is having a major impact on middle class Jews.

Concern is mounting that the upcoming holidays may be a difficult time for thousands of Jewish families throughout New York City. Reports from other cities also point to a significant number of middle-class Jews who find themselves in financial distress. Retailers say that they noticed an appreciable change in the buying habits of many middle class families, most notably avoiding costlier foods such as red meat or expensive fish. The Boro Park retailer said that many of his customers are “sticking to chicken and starches.”

Middle class customers have also had to face many increases in the price of meat and dairy, which by Rosh Hashanah, may be as much as 20% higher than a year ago.

Source: Kosher Today

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