One of the biggest obstacles the United States Census Bureau faces is making sure that everyone is counted in order to allocate the necessary funds to the appropriate regions.

Here in the Rio Grande Valley itís no different. But now Juniorís Supermarket is teaming up with the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO) to lend a helping hand in the effort to make sure everyone is counted and is helping settle the fears and questions anyone might have during the census.

ďThe people need to feel relaxed and confident because this is going to be a benefit for the communities,Ē said Felix Chavez, owner of Juniorís Supermarket. ďA lot of the funds that come our way come by the numbers that are reported and itís very important that everybody is counted because thatís the voice in Washington (D.C.) and thatís the voice in Austin.Ē

Juniorís Supermarkets will be among the numerous Questionnaire Assistance Centers throughout the county from now through mid-April.

Chavez knows that some people are scared to turn in a census form because of their legal status but he wants to reassure not only his customers but everyone that people who live in the Rio Grande Valley are safe from the government.

ďThis has been a ghost,Ē Chavez said. ďI remember the last census count and I know of a lot of people that never responded questionairres or were even afraid to be somewhere to be counted so I know itís important that this information to be passed out to the people.Ē

Juniorís Supermarket customers can go to any one of their seven stores on the weekend and talk to the representatives from the Census Bureau so they can answer any questions they might have or fill out the census forms there in the store.

Arturo Vargas, executive director of NALEO, was on hand to stress the importance of this particular census because Latinos are the second largest community that is being counted.

ďThis is gong to be the most important census for our community in the history of our country,Ē Vargas said. ďThis will be the Latino census because itís the first census where our (Latino) community is the second largest population.Ē

For more information about the 2010 Census visit or visit Juniorís Supermarket on the weekend. Representatives will be on hand to answer all questions anyone might have.