Local military commissaries to offer special-needs carts

Image courtesy Caroline's Cart

FORT LEE, Va. (June 19, 2014) – Forty commissaries across the United States will soon offer grocery carts designed specifically for special-needs children.

Called “Caroline’s Cart,” it enables special-needs children – or even adults under 250 pounds – to safely and easily accompany parents or caretakers on commissary shopping trips. The cart provides the option of using one basket instead of pushing both a wheelchair or stroller and a grocery cart when shopping.

“Many retailers and malls are now offering these special-needs carts,” said Randy Eller, DeCA’s deputy director of logistics. “Placing these carts into our commissaries will provide a valuable service to many military families at these installations.”

Eller said some commissaries have already received the carts. “Once we roll out the first 40 and gauge response, we’ll see if we should deploy more to the field,” he said.

Slightly larger than a traditional shopping cart, the special-needs carts have handles that swing away to allow easy access to the seat, and a platform below the seat serves as a footrest. With the occupant facing the cart operator, the seat contains a five-point adjustable harness for support. The cart’s two 8-inch wheels and four casters provide maneuverability and stability, and brakes help ensure safety while loading or unloading the passenger.

The carts will be located at the front of the store, or customers can ask a manager for assistance. Carts will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. It will be the patron’s responsibility to place the individual in the cart.

Commissaries, listed by state, that will have Caroline’s Carts available are:

  • Alabama: Redstone Arsenal
  • California: Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Naval Air Station Lemoore, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Naval Base San Diego, Vandenberg Air Force Base
  • Colorado: Peterson Air Force Base
  • D.C.: Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling
  • Florida: Naval Station Mayport, Patrick Air Force Base
  • Georgia: Fort Benning, Fort Gordon
  • Hawaii: Pearl Harbor Commissary at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam
  • Illinois: Naval Station Great Lakes
  • Kansas: Fort Leavenworth, McConnell Air Force Base
  • Kentucky: Fort Knox
  • Maryland: Fort Meade
  • Missouri: Richards-Gebaur
  • Montana: Malmstrom Air Force Base
  • Nevada: Nellis Air Force Base
  • New Hampshire: Naval Shipyard Portsmouth
  • New Mexico: Cannon Air Force Base
  • New York: Fort Hamilton
  • North Carolina: Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, Fort Bragg South
  • Ohio: Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
  • Oklahoma: Tinker Air Force Base
  • South Carolina: Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island
  • Tennessee: Naval Support Activity Memphis
  • Texas: Fort Bliss, Fort Hood – Clear Creek
  • Virginia: Fort Belvoir, Joint Base Langley-Eustis (both commissaries), Naval Air Station Oceana, Marine Corps Base Quantico
  • Washington: Fairchild Air Force Base, McChord Commissary at Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Read more about Caroline’s Cart.

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