West Columbia BI-LO adding shopping cart to accommodate special needs families

Tem Miles’s daughter, Emma, getting ready to shop with her dad. Photos provided by City of West Columbia.

The City of West Columbia recently broke ground on the new enabling park on the corner of Hudson and Oliver Streets last month. Local area businesses are beginning to provide additional accommodations for individuals with special needs. BI-LO Manager Tim Smith worked alongside Mayor Pro Tem Tem Miles, to obtain a “Caroline’s Cart” for the store. The cart creates a convenient shopping experience for all families. Smith’s BI-LO, located in Parkland Plaza, is less than a mile away from the West Columbia Enabling Park.

Caroline’s Cart was created for individuals with special needs. It is similar to a traditional shopping cart, with a seat built to face the shopper. The seat holds a child as small as 2-years-old or an adult up to 250 pounds. It provides caregivers with a viable option to transport someone through a store while shopping, without the hassle of maneuvering a wheelchair and a shopping cart at the same time.

Smith was able to obtain the cart through his team at Southern Grocers. “At BI-LO, it is important to meet the needs of all our customers, especially our special needs customers. We anticipate with the new inclusive playground, those needs will increase and we want to provide an easy shopping experience for existing and new customers,” he said.

Miles said he is thankful for the investment BI-LO made to make grocery shopping more accessible in the community for families with special needs. “This is particularly important given that this store is the closest grocery store to our new enabling park,” Miles said. “As the father of a child in a wheelchair and a shopper of this store, I can’t say thank you enough.”

“As a father of a special needs son, I am humbled to see our community’s support of Enabling Park and I am grateful that BI-LO has the opportunity to support our West Columbia special needs families, “ added Smith.

Categories: Business, Lexington County, West Columbia