A bakery truck stranded on I-95 Tuesday distributed hundreds of loaves of bread to drivers who were stuck in the snow for hours.
Hundreds of vehicles were stranded on the highway stretch from Ruther Glen, Virginia, to Dumfries for nearly 24 hours, starting Monday and continuing into Tuesday. Casey Noe, 23, and her husband John, from Ellicott City, were among those stuck on I-95.
“It was definitely a very scary situation and we had no idea how long we would be there for,” John told WBALTV.
“We went to bed that night in the car because we just couldn’t go anywhere, we were exhausted from driving all day and being so stressed,” Casey said.
The couple had not moved in 16 hours as children cried in nearby vehicles. Exhausted and growing hungrier with each moment, they spotted a Schmidt Baking Company truck in front of them and Casey hatched an idea.
“(On) kind of on a whim, I just called the customer service line of Schmidt’s Bread,” she explained to WBALTV. “I kind of begged them to open the back of the truck and just give us a couple loaves of bread so we could share with the people around us.”
The Schmidt Baking Company is located in Baltimore and is a part of H&S Bakery, which has been family-owned and operated since 1943.
In a Facebook post that has gone viral, Casey said she and John “didn’t think it would actually work,” but she received a call from one of the company’s owners, Chuck Paterakis, within 20 minutes.
Paterakis contacted his driver, Ron, and instructed him to give away the bread, according to WBALTV. Ron and the Noes began distributing bread to motorists over a two-mile stretch of highway. The group handed out 300 loaves over an hour, according to the Washington Post.
Casey told WBALTV:
We just kept giving it out until we couldn’t walk anymore because it was so freezing. 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.
Paterakis was more than happy to assist those who were stranded.
“I’m so pleased that the people who were hungry, that hadn’t eaten for the past 24 hours, had a chance, even if it was bread, had the chance to fill their stomachs up,” he told WBALTV. “It was very gratifying to me. It was something I will always remember.”
Casey lauded Paterakis and the Schmidt Baking Co.
“The company definitely could have made a profit off the bread but instead chose to help the people around them,” she explained. “That is just so incredible that someone chose humanity over profit, especially in a situation that people were so desperate.”
The couple was finally back on the road Tuesday afternoon, according to NBC Washington. John is in the Air Force, and the couple were on their way to see his family before he is stationed in Germany.
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