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    Casey's, Hy-Vee Stores Partner With U.S. Census

    Iowans with questions about the population survey can come to the retailers for answers.

    ANKENY & WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- Convenience store chain Casey's General Stores and Hy-Vee, the state's largest grocery chain, are partnering with the U.S. Census, providing space in their stores to answer questions about the 2010 Census.

    Rich Gerdes of the U.S. Census office in Kansas City told RadioIowa Casey's will have "Be Counted" boxes with Census information, while part-time Census workers will staff "Quality Assistance Centers" in Hy-Vee stores throughout the region.

    "If somebody has a question [such as] 'Do I count my kid in college or not count them?' they can come to those sites," Gerdes explained. "We can give them an answer about how to fill out the questionnaire then."

    Iowans will start getting Census questionnaires in the mail in mid-March. Iowa and Minnesota tied in 2000 for the highest return rate, with about 67 percent of Iowans who received a Census form in 2000 returning it in the mail, the report stated.

    "We're on the homestretch now for the Census, and at this point, we are wanting to educate everybody who doesn't know what the Census does and so forth," Gerdes said.

    The funding for roughly 100 federal programs is distributed based on the population formula. According to a recent Census estimate, Iowa now has more than 3 million residents.

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