Hoco Couple, Truck Driver Carry 300 Packages Of Bread To Stranded Motorists After Storm

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HOWARD COUNTY, MD — Stranded on icy Interstate 95 in Virginia for close to 16 hours, Casey Holihan and her husband John Noe of Ellicott City had passed their breaking point. They were thirsty. They were hungry and hadn’t eaten anything for nearly 37 hours.

Sitting a few vehicles ahead of them happened to be a Schmidt Baking Co. truck. They could smell fresh bread like a wanderer sees mirages. They weren’t the only ones who were desperate, Holihan told The Washington Post.

“We were starving,” said Holihan, 23, who was stuck in traffic on the icy road near Quantico. “People around us were very much struggling as well. We could hear kids crying.”

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Knowing it was probably a long shot, the Howard County couple called Schmidt Baking Co. in Baltimore to ask if the business would be willing to share whatever food was on that truck with the starving and desperate travelers. They reached the customer service line and left their phone number with a representative who promised to follow up on their request.

“I didn’t think it would actually work,” Holihan said.

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Just 20 minutes later, Chuck Paterakis, one of the owners of H&S Bakery that operates Schmidt Baking Co., called Holihan directly. He instructed the couple to approach the truck driver and tell him to give out a package of rolls and a loaf of bread to every person who wanted the food.

“It was an easy decision,” Paterakis said. If he had been stuck out there on the road with no food, he added, “I would want someone to offer their products.”

Truck driver Ron Hill, Holihan and Noe quickly opened the back of the truck and began carrying the packaged food to vehicles around them. For an hour, the trio cautiously walked along the ice-covered road and delivered upward of 300 packages of bread to starving, grateful people.

“We started going door to door, and we got to help a lot of people,” Holihan said. “Some people said this was a saving grace for them.”

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