PORT HAWKESBURY: Getting groceries can be a chore, especially for with a special needs child, but the folks at the Port Hawkesbury Superstore are looking to make the endeavour much easier.
“It’s not something everyone thinks about,” said Superstore customer service manager Charmaine Hankey, chatting with The Reporter late last week.
“I never thought about it until I saw an older child in an infant cart, and I thought, wow, that must be uncomfortable. There had to be a better way to accommodate special needs kids.”
Having seen a mother struggling to shop in those conditions caused Hankey to take action.
“That’s when I sent an e-mail to our district manager, having checked with our store manager first,” she said. “The district manager sent an e-mail to someone in charge at Caroline’s Cart, and he e-mailed me back. It was ordered, and within seven days, it was in.
“It was a mother who designed it, a mother of a special needs child,” Hankey said.
Caroline’s Cart is a shopping cart created for special needs children. It provides parents and caregivers a viable option to transport a child through a store while grocery shopping, without having to maneuver a wheelchair and a traditional grocery cart at the same time.
It is named after Caroline, the special needs daughter of Drew Ann and David Long of North Carolina.
Specifically, the cart allows someone of special needs to sit comfortably at the rear. The design is sturdy, and it includes supports for the person sitting in it. There’s also a brake and ample room for groceries. While the cart is designed for a special needs child, its robust design could accommodate an adult with mobility issues.
The cart arrived on May 15.
Store manager Darrell D’Arnall said he takes his hat off to Hankey for going after the new cart. He was also impressed with Superstore district manager Ken Chapdelaine for acting so quickly.
He hopes anyone needing the cart will make good use of it.
“We got it in here very quickly – within seven days,” D’Arnall said. “If there’s a need for something, if there’s a need for a specific community like ours, the company gets behind it really quick.
“It was our people who generated the idea, but they sure had the support of the company.
“This goes to show how in touch with the community my people are. We’re very pleased we’re able to support them and bring it in.”