New York…For millions of Jews celebrating Passover, it was a holiday like none other. Inflation caused prices to rise as much as 20% over last year in some areas. Food prices in March hit a record increase of 10%, the highest in 41 years, but it was recorded only days before the beginning of the holiday. Supply chain issues also contributed to the higher prices as did Russia’s invasion of Ukraine which particularly had an impact on wheat products. Areas that experienced shortages in Matzoh in 2021 had no such problem this year as Matzoh manufacturers seemed to have significantly stepped-up production despite the higher prices which in the case of the Machmirim Matzohs were as high as $74.99 lb. Prices for poultry and eggs particularly soared as the worldwide shortage for poultry continued. As explained by the National Chicken Council and Civil Eats, these shortages are driven by supply chain issues. Those, in turn, have a lot to do with the coronavirus pandemic, which has both led to workers calling in sick enmasse, or resigning entirely. Nor was poultry the only item to see prices soar. It was true for most dairy products, produce and even pastries.
According to Jewish community sources the record inflation has had an enormous impact on the Jewish poor and even on organizations that help the poor. David Mandel, the CEO of the Metropolitan Coordinating Council on Jewish Poverty said that his organization has not experienced such a difficulty in accessing Kosher for Passover food products in the organization’s half century history.