A new federal report says Oregon ranks third in the nation for hunger.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture report released this week says that 6.6 percent of about 1.5 million Oregon households do not have regular access to healthy food.

The Statesman Journal reports the Oregon rate ranks it just behind Maine, which was at 6.7 percent, and Alabama, which led the category at 6.8 percent.

The number of Oregonians suffering from low or very low food security is two percentage points higher in the 2007-09 survey than it was in a 2004-06 survey.

Jean Kempe-Ware, spokeswoman for the Oregon Food Bank, says it could have been worse without federal investments in food stamps and emergency food that helped lessen the impact.

— The Associated Press