Kosher shoppers in Golders Green spoke this week of their efforts to cut the cost of their Pesach bill.
One said that although she had not found her Pesach shop significantly more expensive, that was “because I’ve done my shopping at the Kosher Outlet [a discount warehouse] because things there are generally cheaper.
“It’s not somewhere I regularly shop at. But for Pesach I find it worthwhile because it’s a huge amount to shop for.”
Another woman said she had spent less this year. But that was down to buying less. “I don’t know that we need to buy all the luxuries for just one week. I think we need to be more canny.”
She advocated a “back to basics” approach. “Instead of being lazy, we have to start cooking a bit more from scratch.
“We don’t need to buy ready-made; we can buy like our grandmothers did.”
At The Fed welfare charity in Manchester, a spokesperson said demand for its help always rose at Pesach.
“We have increased the number of residential respite beds available in our Heathlands Village and hold a popular communal Seder for those who are vulnerable, lonely or would struggle to afford their own. “We supply extra volunteers to those in need in the run up to Pesach to assist with various aspects of preparing for the festival — and to make sure those who require it have the necessary support during what is traditionally a family time.”
A spokesperson for the Gift food charity — which operates in London and Manchester and aids around 2,000 people weekly — said it had experienced a five per cent increase in the number of families it supports over the past year.
“That will have been for a variety of reasons to do with financial circumstances but also illness, bereavement and family breakdown. “In those situations, increases in food prices generally, and in kosher food prices in particular, will inevitably place families under more stress, not least with Pesach coming up.
“That’s why we continue to appeal to the community to donate items to our Gift boxes when they are shopping and why we have a special food collection drive before Pesach.”
But one shopper, Sharon Benhur, believed prices were higher elsewhere. “We’re making Pesach in Israel and some of the stuff is even more expensive there,” she said.