While hundreds of thousands of people along the east coast have been battling a horrible snowstorm, there are thousands of people stranded on ice covered highways. One stretch of road in particular, I-95, which runs from Ohio down to Virginia has been hit hard with snow and ice leaving traffic at a standstill. For hours, drivers waited for any movement in the line of cars in front of them but, there was nothing. Travelers reported being stranded for almost an entire day with no food or water.
One young woman who was stuck in Virginia with her husband said that she noticed cars with children, pets and even elderly passengers and almost none of them were prepared for this unfortunate delay. That's when they noticed a bread delivery truck just ahead of them.
The Washington Post reports that Casey Holihan and her husband, John Noe, spotted a Schmidt Baking Company truck just a few cars ahead of them about 9 a.m. Tuesday. At that point, they estimated, it had been approximately 37 hours since they had last eaten.
“We were starving,” said Holihan, 23, who at the time was at a standstill near Quantico. “People around us were very much struggling as well. We could hear kids crying.”
They decided to call Schmidt Baking Company in Baltimore in the hope that maybe it would be willing to offer whatever products were on the truck to hungry travelers. The couple knew it was a long shot, but they — and countless other people, some of whom were trapped on I-95 for close to 24 hours after snow and ice triggered an overnight shutdown — were desperate for food.
They got redirected through customer service, just like any one of us would and they finally got to leave a desperate plea. Just 20 minutes later, Chuck Paterakis, one of the owners of H&S Bakery, which operates Schmidt Baking Company, called the couple directly.
He advised them to go to the truck, then instructed the driver to offer up two products — one package of rolls and one loaf of bread — to any person who wanted them.
“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.”
The truck's driver, Ron Hill, began walking along the highway handing out bread to stranded travelers. Soon others began to help him and within an hour they'd passed out more than 300 loaves of bread and rolls. This special delivery not only saved the morale of stranded drivers but also their lives, not many of them had anything edible in their cars during their commute.
This isn't the company's first time offering help to those in need either. Since March of 2020, at the beginning of the global pandemic, the company has donated close to 3 million loaves of bread to people in need in the Baltimore-Washington area.
“My father and mother taught us how to work hard and give back to the community,” he said. “My parents would be very proud.”
The H&S Bakery and Schmidt Baking Company is a family owned operation that has been in business for 80 years. This act of kindness, is sure to keep them in business much longer. This proves that there are still good people, running good companies, in the world today. If you have the opportunity to purchase from this company, we encourage you to do so and to spread the word to those around you. For a list of their products and a store locator, click here. Best of luck to this company and everyone they fed!