Caroline's Carts Make Shopping Easier - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Caroline's Carts Make Shopping Easier

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MISSOULA -

Shopping may seem like a simple task for most people, but for someone with a disability, a trip to the supermarket can be filled with obstacles.

Jennifer Banna, a mother of five, said her 13-year-old daughter, Hallie, has Pitt-hopkins syndrome, an intellectual and physical disability.

Many people with Pitt-hopkins cannot walk without assistance, and some never develop the ability to speak, or only learn a few words.

"She doesn't like to walk, but she likes to be out, and she doesn't move very fast," Banna said.

Banna said trips to the grocery store have traditionally been difficult for her entire family, and often an upsetting experience for Hallie.

"I'd normally put my two kids in the cart here, and I'd push her in her wheel chair, so I was always pushing and pulling," Banna said.

After years of problematic errand running, Banna found a solution online, called "Caroline's Cart," which has a large seat and moveable handlebars, created specifically for kids with disabilities.

"I actually called the person on the phone and the person who created these answered the phone, and I said, what would it take to bring these to my community," Banna said.

Manufacturers told her chain stores, like Wal-Mart, are usually quick to purchase Caroline's carts, but Banna -- a Missoula native -- decided to ask two, locally-owned stores to purchase an $850 cart. Managers at Good Food Store and Roars each agreed to buy a cart this past spring.

Emi Kodama, a manager at the Good Food Store said, "I think it's a type of cart that will probably become more common in stores and supermarkets, so I'm excited to be one of the first places to be able to offer one for our customers."

Banna said Caroline's Carts allow her to shop with Hallie at a much faster pace.

"Where, normally, I would try to get a babysitter, or done it at night when my husband was home, so that I didn't have to take her," Banna said.

And Hallie, who's now comfortable in the larger seat, doesn't mind grocery shopping at all.

"Hallie thinks that she's on a parade, and that she can wave, and she smiles, and I keep saying if she knew how to do a float wave, she would do it all through the store, because she thinks she's in charge when she's in the cart… yeah, you do!"

Banna said adults with disabilities can use the carts as well.

Good Food Store employees said they'll also help parents bring their kids inside the store, and help carry groceries back out.

Banna and other moms hope to have Caroline's Carts in the Missoula Costco sometime soon, which would make it the first Costco in the state with the carts.

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