We have to admit we were a bit overwhelmed at the reaction to the news story that aired on WLUK 11 and WFRV-TV in Green Bay. Not only has Facebook and Twitter exploded with comments and compliments, we are receiving e-mail from all over the United States and even as far away as Australia! The story has touched many people and we are happy to have Caroline’s cart available for our shoppers.
What is Caroline’s Cart?
We received a request from a mom who shops at our Holmen store and because we had never heard of this cart we went to their website Carolines’ Cart to do some research. In short, 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 simultaneously having to maneuver a wheelchair and a traditional grocery cart. It is named after Caroline, the special needs daughter of Drew Ann and David Long, founders of Parent Solution Group, LLC.
Why Provide this Cart?
Festival Foods offers many different types of carts from regular full size to kid size, wheelchair carts to race cars and motorized carts. Why on earth would we need to purchase yet another style? The answer lies in our Boomerang Theory- “every business decision we make is based on the question, “Will it bring the customer back?” To simplify it even further- providing this cart was the right thing to do.
Who uses it?
From the Caroline’s Cart Website:
According to the Census Bureau, approximately 1.6 million children between the ages of 6 and 14 have a severe disability. Without extraordinary efforts on the part of parents and caregivers, many children with disabilities are prevented from normal day-to-day activities such as shopping. Caroline’s Cart was created to accommodate the unique shopping needs of these families.
Caroline’s Cart is for children with disabilities. It allows the child to be able to shop with a parent or caregiver, releasing them from the overwhelming efforts and dangers of having to fit a child into the seat or basket of a standard shopping cart, or pushing and pulling a wheelchair and a shopping cart, or leaving the child out of the shopping experience all together.
Caroline’s Cart is designed to accommodate children with a variety of levels and types of disability. Whether a child has limited mobility or a disability that prevents them from walking; has a lifelong disability or a temporary sprained ankle; has stamina issues or behavioral problems that keep a parent from being able to shop with him or her, Caroline’s Cart provides a solution for comfortably transporting a child while shopping
Locally, WLUK-Fox 11 interviewed Festival Foods shoppers Sandy and Josh Hundsrucker, parents of an 18 month old with Cerebral Palsy:
Sandy said her son’s disability can make it difficult to shop with a regular cart.
“With CP, their legs tend to tangle up so he has a very hard time getting in and then, as you can see, he has very limited neck control and there are no supports or harnesses that would help him in this type of shopping cart,” she said.
The cart’s five-point harness helps keep a child with low muscle tone from falling forward. The arms of the cart open for easy loading, and there’s also a brake.
William’s dad said the cart makes a trip to the grocery store faster and easier.
“Now all four of us can go, or she can take both kids, and she can go shopping and doesn’t have to wait for me to get home,” said Josh Hundsrucker.
We currently have Caroline’s Cart available at our stores in Suamico, Onalaska, Holmen, and Kenosha but they have been ordered for all locations and will arrive by Feb.11. According to the manufacturer, Festival Foods is only the second retailer in America to roll Caroline’s Cart out to all of our stores. The other retailer is a 20 store chain in Indiana. There are hundreds of retailers that are using Caroline’s carts, but most are ordering them as requested by customers rather than recognizing and addressing a need up front. We are excited to make shopping an enjoyable experience for the whole family!
For more information about Caroline’s Cart: