Can someone explain how I can translate the second part of the sentence? I don't understand the meaning of 得 and 得起。 Thank you。
I was poor [to the point of] I [could] only afford to eat one meal a day
The first 得 is placed after an adjective, which means it is a degree/ result particle that indicates [Adj + to the point of + degree/ result]
The second 得 is a potential particle. There are only two potential particles. They are "得 (can)" and "不(cannot)"
吃[得]起一顿饭 = [can] afford to eat one meal
吃[不]起一顿饭 = [cannot] afford to eat one meal
"我穷[得]一天吃[不]起一顿饭。" would mean: "I was poor to the point of couldn't afford to eat one meal a day" (maybe one meal every two day?)