The 2020 Census is gathering information right now, and while Ottawa County seems to be improving in its response to this year’s count, it has a long way to go. While 65.2% of Ohioans have responded, the count is 45.8% in Ottawa County.
It is important for all households in the county to respond, since census counts help to allocate federal funding for local social and food programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). It was announced last week that households in Ohio and another dozen states – Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Virginia – will soon be able to purchase food online as part of their SNAP food benefits.
Once operational, online purchasing will be available in 36 states and the District of Columbia. It is a broad expansion of independently-owned and operated retail stores beyond those included in the original pilot. Soon more SNAP authorized retailers, under multiple store banners, will be accepting SNAP benefits online.
To make sure everyone in Ottawa County who qualifies will be able access those types of benefits, they need to be included in the 2020 Census.
Ottawa County’s 50.8% was last among Ohio’s counties in responding to the 2010 Census. This year, households can respond by mail, telephone and on the internet. For information, visit 1220census.gov or call 1-844-330-2020.
Census takers will be knocking on Ottawa County doors through Aug. 14. The census results will be reported to Congress in December.