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Stranded motorists share bread from truck stuck on I-95

Published: Jan. 6, 2022 at 1:18 AM CST
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QUANTICO, Va. (Gray News) - A couple stranded by winter weather on Interstate 95 made a desperate call after spotting a bread truck ahead of them, one that led the truck to open its door and get bread to hungry people.

Among those stranded on I-95 overnight Monday into Tuesday were Casey Holihan Noe and her husband, John Noe. The couple told The Washington Post that after more than 16 hours stuck on the highway, they spotted a Schmidt Baking Company truck ahead of them in the standstill near Quantico, Virginia.

Holihan Noe says on Facebook she called the company out of sheer desperation to see if they would think about sharing some of their bread.

“We were tired, frustrated, and hungry. Many of the people stuck out here had small children, were elderly, had pets in the car, and hadn’t eaten in almost a whole day,” Holihan Noe wrote.

The couple didn’t really think their call would work, but less than 20 minutes later, they were talking to Chuck Paterakis, one of the owners of H&S Bakery, which operates Schmidt Baking Company. He told them to talk to the truck driver, Ron Hill, and give out bread to those in need.

Holihan Noe, her husband and Hill started passing out bread, and others nearby joined in. For an hour, they walked down the icy highway, delivering bread to more than 50 cars. The Washington Post reports that amounted to about 300 packages of bread.

“We just kept giving it out until we couldn’t walk anymore because it was so freezing,” Holihan Noe told WBAL. “It felt incredible… hearing people just so relieved to finally have food in their car, food in their system and in their kids’ system.”

Holihan Noe called Paterakis’ gesture “one of the kindest moments I have ever witnessed” in her Facebook post.

“That is just so incredible that someone chose humanity over profit, especially in a situation that people were so desperate,” Holihan Noe told WBAL. “The company definitely could have made a profit off the bread but instead chose to help the people around them.”

Paterakis says he was glad the family-run company could help, especially from as far away as Baltimore, typically about an hour and a half drive.

“I’m so pleased that the people who were hungry… had the chance to fill their stomachs up. It was very gratifying to me. It was something I will always remember,” Paterakis told WBAL.

The Noes had been traveling from Ellicott City, Maryland, to Newport, North Carolina, to visit family, according to the Post. The trip usually takes about five hours, but by Tuesday evening, they had been on the road for 33 hours and still hadn’t arrived.

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