St. John’s First City In Canada To Embrace Shopping Carts for Disabled Children

  • While grocery shopping is something that most of us take for granted, it is a much different story for persons living with disabilities and their caregivers. This is particularly true for parents of disabled children who find it very difficult or impossible to place their children in standard grocery carts.

    This past Friday, representatives of the four major grocery banners in St. John’s including Sobeys, Dominion (Loblaw), Walmart and Colemans joined City Mayor, Dennis O’Keefe in an official ribbon cutting on a fleet of specifically designed shopping carts meant to make grocery shopping a little bit easier and enjoyable for children with disabilities.

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    Ribbon Cutting at St. John’s City Hall

    All major grocery stores in the St. John’s area will be equipped with Caroline’s Cart thanks to a partnership between the retailers and the St. John’s chapter of the Canadian Progress Club.

    The project was spearheaded for the Canadian Progress Club by Ralph Chiarot who late last year read about Caroline’s Cart being implemented at a grocery store in Alberta, and was inspired to rally support from the grocery industry and various groups in the region that work to remove accessibility issues for persons with disabilities.

    “I saw this as a very important investment for inclusion for the child and the family as a whole, its not about the cart.” states Chiarot. “It is about the ability to shop and have your child with a disability included in a regular everyday activity such as grocery shopping.”

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    Ralph Chiarot – Canadian Progress Club

    On behalf of CPCSJ, Ralph approached Sobeys, Dominion, Colemans and Walmart stores offering to share the costs of each cart they implemented. The district managers were eager to take part and stated they were getting requests from families for accessible shopping carts.

    With fewer than 175 carts currently deployed across Canada, this is a big opportunity which our industry should be rally around so that all families can use Caroline’s Cart at whichever supermarket they choose to shop.

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    Left to Right: Ralph Chiarot, Canadian Progress Club; Matt Crane, Canadian Progress Club; Kelly Traverse, Walmart Canada; Lionel Duguay, Loblaw; Dennis O’Keefe, Mayor of St. John’s, Judy Bennett, Colemans; Bill Moulton, Sobeys.

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