Parents with disabled and special needs children know what a difficult task it is to go grocery shopping – trying to juggle a shopping cart and a child in a wheelchair at the same time.
That’s not going to be the case at Save-On-Foods at Semiahmoo Shopping Centre from now on, thanks to the presence of a specially designed cart co-sponsored by the White Rock Elks Club.
Called Caroline’s Carts, the vehicles have been a success in Save-On stores across Canada, allowing parents to secure children with safe but comfortable straps in a rearward-facing seat in the same cart they use for shopping.
The project is an ongoing partnership between Elks Clubs and Save-On-Foods that has placed some 450 carts in stores across the country, according to White Rock Elks member Senga Cowie.
She was on hand at the White Rock Save On Foods May 13 with other members, including club president Ray Hunt and store manager Ryan Dennis, as a new cart was store tested by regular store patron Kim Shauer and her developmentally disabled daughter, Julia, 7, helped by Julia’s older sister, Ashley, 10.
The new cart was an initiative of local members Lois Duke and Mary Fraser, who organized a fundraiser that made just over $500. That, with a matching grant from Save-On, was enough to purchase the cart for the store.
Like all the other Caroline’s Carts, it can carry any child four and up and is weight tested to carry between 35 and 250 pounds, Cowie said.
Hunt and Dennis noted the cart also marks the centenary of Overwaitea Foods (parent company of Save-On) and 103 years of the Elks Club in Canada (the White Rock Club has been part of the community for 57 years).
“Save-On helps White Rock Elks with many of its events,” Hunt said. “It’s a great partnership.”
Dennis said the Caroline’s Cart can be accessed by any parent with a disabled or special-needs child simply by visiting the store’s service desk.
“Having a cart in the store and being able to help children with disabilities and local families like that is absolutely huge for us,” he said.