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'Food insecurity' up to 10 percent in Wisconsin homes

One of every 10 Wisconsin households had trouble putting enough food on the table at the end of last year.

That's according to the USDA, which said the Badger State was a little better off than the nation as a whole.

One of every seven U.S. households had what the government calls "food insecurity" at the end of 2008.

That's a sharp increase from the year before, when one of every nine households had trouble getting enough food.

University of Wisconsin-Madison professor Judi Bartfeld said the big year-to-year increase was uncommon.

And it does not take this year's increase in unemployment into account, so Bartfeld says the numbers for 2009 will most likely be worse.

For more than a year, food pantries throughout Wisconsin said they've been seeing people who never needed the help before.

In the Madison area, the Community Action Coalition predicts a double-digit increase this year in the total number of visits to its pantries.