QUANTICO, VA — It had been more than 24 hours of being stranded in standstill traffic on Interstate 95. Stuck in their car during a snowstorm, and with no access to food or water, Casey Holihan Noe and her husband, John Noe, felt hope when they spotted the Schmidt Baking Co. truck a few vehicles ahead.

Holihan and Noe called Baltimore, MD-based Schmidt Baking Co. and asked if they could spare some of the bread products from the truck. They were starved — along with all the other motorists around them — as the highway was shut down overnight from snow and ice. Holihan knew it was a long shot. But luckily, Schmidt delivered.


The Washington Post reported that just 20 minutes later, the couple got a call from Chuck Paterakis, co-owner of H&S Bakery, the parent company of Schmidt Baking Co. He told them that he gave the truck driver permission to distribute a package of rolls and a loaf of bread to anyone who wanted them.

"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.” —Chuck Paterakis | co-owner | H&S Bakery


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

Ron Hill, the truck driver, passed out bread to more than 50 cars stranded on I-95. The drivers admired this company’s willingness to help them, and Paterakis shared the sentiment. He said it’s in bakers’ DNA to help feed people … especially those who need it most.

“Myself, my family and the entire H&S Bakery team are humbled by what transpired on I-95 during the snowstorm earlier this week,” Paterakis said. “When Casey took the initiative to reach out and let us know about all of the travelers stranded on that icy highway, it was without question or pause that we would access our product and use the resources available to help those hungry and in need. How could anyone finding themselves in a similar situation respond differently?”

For Paterakis, the core values of giving back and doing the right thing have been instilled in his family’s company since the very beginning. And as a family-owned business, H&S is able to be nimble and mobilize quickly when a situation like this one arose.

“It is part of our mission statement to create meaningful change in our community. It’s what we did during the early phases of the pandemic when we donated nearly 3 million loaves of bread to local schools and charities, and it’s what we will continue to do,” Paterakis added.

But the true heroes of the story? Paterakis said that’s Holihan and Hill.

“We are inspired by their quick thinking, selflessness, and responsiveness to meet the moment and help in the relief effort,” Paterakis said. “They are deserving of recognition and gratitude from their community. For us, we are just honored and grateful that we found ourselves in a position to be of service.”

Images from Casey Holihan Noe on Facebook.