At Paris branch of Secours Populaire, people are loading up on the basics to get them through the week. The French charity offers food, clothing and emergency shelter to the needy.
Local head Alain Chetaille says the charity's caseload has jumped 50% during the past year
"People are worried about jobs, their purchasing power, housing and long-term prospects for them and their children."
People of every age come here and many have families that depend on them.
"We have a lot of single mothers with their children. They account for almost 40% of the families that we receive."
Nadia Coulibaly is here with her six month old daughter. They spend their nights in emergency shelters.
"Finding a job is complicated. Frankly the economic crisis can be felt in all economic sectors."
Housing, jobs and other bread and butter issues are likely to dominate France's presidential election. Nearly 10% of French are unemployed.
America University of Paris Political Science Professor Steven Ekovich says voters are afraid.
"People feel that in a fragile situation, they would be more tempted to go over somebody's offers of bold solution or at least re- assuring solution."
Political opponents blame the economic problems on conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy. But Mr. Sarkozy claimed his policies have saved the country from ruin.
"Political debate is not about the economy per se. It's about the budget. How to deal with the economy? How much should the state be spending to, you know, jumpstart the economy?"
Mr. Sarkozy is promising more reforms to create jobs, boost growth and make France more competitive. He's also cracking down on immigration-a popular theme shared by far right candidate Marine Le Pen who is running third in the opinion polls.
The narrow front runner is Socialist Party challenger Francois Hollande, although President Sarkozy is closing the gap. Mr. Hollande wants to raise taxes on the wealthy and invest education, research and employment as a way to grow the economy. Again Professor Ekovich:
"What he's presented himself is the realistic socialist. He's lost some vote on the left for that, that's for sure."
Voting is still two month away and analysts say plenty could change in the race. But France's economic problems will dominate the debate.