I've chatted with a few 'experts' of late regarding survey findings, funding issues, and general info about this dichotomy...  do we really have an obesity epidemic or do 1 in 6 people in this country go to bed hungry each night?  This morning I interviewed a spokesman for Feeding America and I said a couple of time that people on assistance can eat healthy with choices like beans, bananas, and broccoli.  He rebutted with stories of families who buy hot dogs and frozen french fries because that's all they can afford.  Let me offer an e-mail form Sue, who shows inexpensive proteins that would be way better that dogs and fries...

Joel, Your guest mentioned a family that couldn't afford healthy food and had to eat frozen fries.  I checked Kroger's weekly ad - they have an 8 pound bag of potatoes on sale for $3. That's an average of 20 potatoes per bag. Much cheaper, more filling and more nutritious than frozen fries.

Thanks for not falling for the propaganda! See below for more info from greatest.com

Eating healthy doesn’t always have to cost more.  Below is a list of nutritious and delicious foods that cost less than $1 per serving (prices vary according to region). So get cooking!

Black beans30 cents per ½ cup. Packed with fiber, calcium, potassium, and folic acid. Buy the dry beans for even better nutrition and money deal — boiling beans at home may preserve more of their cancer-fighting antioxidants.

Eggs, 19 cents per egg. When in need of some protein, eggs are a quick, delicious, fix.

Almonds, 60 cents for a one-ounce serving (20-25 nuts). Rich in monounsaturated fat and fiber, these super-nuts could reduce the risk of diabetes.

Lentils12 cents per ½ cup serving (dry, in bulk).  Lentils are high in protein, iron, phosphorous, and copper and are a very good source of fiber, folate, and manganese.  They are also low on the glycemic index.

Pinto beans30 cents per ½ cup serving (less expensive when bought in the dried form). A good source of thiamin, potassium, and manganese, and a very good source of fiber.

Canned salmon, 75 cents per serving.  This low-calorie convenience is packed with omega 3 and protein.

Plain yogurt, about $1 per 6 ounce cup. Yogurt is an easy take-along source of protein and calcium.  If you’re buying flavored, make sure it’s flavored by fruit and not flavored by sugar and chemicals.

Cottage cheese, 88 cents per ½ cup serving.  Cottage cheese is a great high-protein snack.

Popcorn, 30 cents per ½ cup serving. A low-calorie snack that’s a good source of fiber.

Grapes, 75 cents per 1 cup serving.  High in antioxidants.

Apples, about 50 cents to 75 cents per apple.  A superfood with vitamin C and antioxidants.

Cantaloupe, 50 cents per ½ cup serving.  Filled with antioxidants and vitamin C.

Canned pumpkin, 75 cents per ½ cup.  High in carotenoids.

Canned tomatoes, 50 cents per ½ cup serving.  Tomatoes contain exceptional amounts of the antioxidant lycopene.

Sweet potatoes, 50 cents each.  High levels of vitamin A.

Broccoli, 50 cents per ½ cup.  Broccoli is a superfood packed with nutrition.

Spinach, 50 cents per cup when raw).  Another superfood.

Carrots, 50 cents each.  A nutritious, vitamin A-packed crunch.

Coffee, 40 cents per 16-ounce cup (home-brewed).  See previous tips on the benefits of coffee.

Tea, 10 cents per bag.  The varying health benefits of tea are plenty, ranging from antioxidant powers to helping maintain a healthy weight.


And how about this from William...

For $10 I can get a 50 lb bag of rice.  Add to that some bulk frozen vegies and a sprinkling of meat and I can eat Chinese style for a month.
Not to mention ramen noodles which I love can be had for very little money when you buy in bulk.
Still I also have heard the reports of 1 in 6 Americans going to bed hungry.  In one instance I found the report was backed by an organization getting govt money to feed the poor.
Last month in a rain drenched northern California and to some extent southern California (the Los Angeles "Terminator" culvert was gushing with water for the first time in anyone's memory) I was told by a reporter about the ongoing persistent drought.  Well, yes and no.
Is there always a political and/or money angle to every thing we hear?  Is this just the way it's always been? 
I'm not saying that categorically poor people are lazy, but if they can't see 4 bucks can buy you Fritos and Twinkies or beans, rice, apples and almonds, then I'm not sure me offering more aid through taxes or direct donations to food banks or other assistance is really going to help.  Culture change may be overused, but I think that's where the disconnect lies.  It's easy to buy junk food... more accessible, immediate gratification from flavor of salt and sugar, and fitting price point... but if we really care about changing poor people's attitudes about food and making healthy choices, it's got to be about changing their attitude about what foods they purchase and consume.