After being stuck for over 20 hours in an icy traffic jam, a Maryland couple tried a long-shot idea that ended up getting hundreds of stranded travelers fed.
Casey Holihan and her husband, John Noe, were hungry, tired, and extremely frustrated after being stuck on I-95 overnight due to weather and an unfortunate traffic accident.
But the pair saw hope a few car lengths ahead in a Schmidt Baking Company bread truck that was also stranded.
They called the company’s customer service line and left a message asking if it was possible for the driver to open the truck and give some loaves of bread to them and others.
Casey was shocked to receive a phone call 20 minutes later from the owner, Chuck Paterakis, who told her he was instructing the truck driver, Ron Hill, to open up the back and pass out some food.
“We just kept giving it out until we couldn’t walk anymore because it was so freezing,” Casey said.
“It felt incredible just hearing people say thank you and hearing people just so relieved to finally have food in their car, food in their system and in their kids’ system. It was a really incredible feeling.”
The couple helped pass out about 300 packages of rolls and loaves of bread to people in surrounding vehicles over the course of an hour.
As a family-run business for 80 years, Chuck said “my father and mother taught us how to work hard and give back to the community. My parents would be very proud.”
“We’re very humbled and grateful that we could help,” he added.
“The company definitely could have made a profit off the bread but instead chose to help the people around them. That is just so incredible that someone chose humanity over profit, especially in a situation that people were so desperate,” Casey said.
“This was one of the kindest moments I have ever witnessed. Thank you, Schmidt,” She added.