Twin Cities grocery store chain Cub Foods said that it will carry carts specially designed for children and adults with disabilities at all of its 76 Minnesota stores and its store in Freeport, Ill.
Caroline’s Carts, named after a girl with special needs, have been arriving at Cub locations across the state since late last month and are expected to be available at all Cub locations by the end of April, the company said Wednesday.
The shopping carts were created by Caroline’s mother, Drew Ann Long.
The mother of a 12-year-old boy with cerebral palsy, epilepsy and autism, Carrie Mastenbrook, said she wishes the carts were available when her son, Andrew, was younger.
“I would have him on my hip while I was pushing the cart, but when he got to be about two and a half to four years old it was so difficult,” she said. “Depending on your trip, it was near impossible.”
Mastenbrook said she hasn’t used one of the carts yet, but because Andrew has a hard time walking long distances, she said she’ll consider them for future shopping trips.
The carts replace a wheelchair with a style similar to a traditional shopping cart, but with a seat that faces the shopper.
They were tested in 2014 at a Maple Grove location and garnered positive feedback, according to a news release from the company.
Anne Millerbernd is a University of Minnesota student on assignment for the Star Tribune.