It's a sad state of affairs when Americans have a hard time buying their kids a “Happy Meal.”

On The Call @ Hedgeye this morning, Keith McCullough discussed why lower-cost food options are becoming increasingly unaffordable for many people with analysts Howard Penney and Daniel Biolsi.

“McDonald’s actually had a really disastrous month, the worst month in two years," Penney explains. "McDonald’s used to be famous for their Dollar Menu, but the average price now is like $2.50. It’s not the McDonald’s we’ve known for a while." 

"Traffic is falling off a cliff because [the consumer] thinks it’s an expensive place to go now," McCullough adds.

More Americans turned to charitable food options and pantries in recent months following the elimination of a SNAP program that provided families free meals during the summer.

In a survey of those who qualified for the program, “42% said they were skipping meals in August and 55% of the people surveyed said they ate less because they could not afford the food," Biolsi says. "Maybe they would like to go to McDonald's, they just can't afford it."

“This is real pain for a lot of people,” says McCullough.

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