Although responses to the 2020 Census were initially extended until Oct. 31, the official deadline is now Sept. 30, according to a statement from the United States Census Bureau.

Forest Park’s response rate as of Sept. 24 was only 70.8 percent, much lower than the village’s goal of 85 percent. An accurate count is crucial to help villages like Forest Park secure funding for education, infrastructure, healthcare, housing and social services from the federal government.

Basically, if Forest Park wants its fair share of federal funding, residents need to fill out the census.

To encourage more people to respond, the village is hosting a socially distant event in the village hall parking lot, 517 Desplaines Ave., on Saturday, Sept. 26, from noon to 4 p.m.

Free pizza and Italian ice will be served, and staff will be on hand to help people fill out the census, if necessary.

The census can also be completed online at or by phone at 844-330-2020.