U.S. census critical for funding after pandemic

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The 2020 Census has changed course with these changing times. In person events and field operations have ceased for social distancing, but everyone must fill out a form.

"It doesn't matter your documentation status, every little baby counts that's one people often don't realize," said Philly Counts Executive Director Stephanie Reid. "You can't forget the baby and the little babies that were just born are important for the count and the federal funding we'll receive."

Philadelphia right now has a 37.3% response rate, which is average in comparison with other major cities.

There are three ways to respond: over the phone, it's the first year you can go online or you should receive a mailer any day now.

Philly Counts is going the extra mile to spread the word about these new response options.

"We were going to go door to door with door hangers. Reid said. "We've actually pivoted and put them into the food boxes that are going out through the city, and food share program with Philabundance."

It's hunger relief organizations like Philabundance, where food lines are like never before. That shed light on why filling out your census form is critical.

Everyone that fills out a form in Philadelphia accounts for $21,000 in federal funding over the next ten years. That money greatly affects underserved communities which are being hit hard by the pandemic.

"People don't realize how many things do rely on census data," said Reid. "It's things like healthcare, it's things like food, school lunch programs and right now we know it's going to be absolutely critical as the city starts to recovers."
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