‘It was one of the nicest things I’ve ever seen.’ Drivers stranded in Virginia receive free baked pastries from a delivery truck.

While much of the fallout from Virginia’s I-95 shutdown has been about pointing fingers and questioning the state government’s response to the many people stranded on the icy highway, a heartwarming story about a bread company’s compassion and generosity has emerged from a grateful couple’s heartfelt thank you.

Casey Holihan Noe and her husband, John Noe, drove from Elliott City, MD, to Newport, NC, when they became stuck in a long line of stopped automobiles at mile marker 148. John, who is currently in the Air Force, will be stationed in Germany for the next four years, and the pair had been paying a farewell visit to family before preparing to go to Germany.

The foreign-bound pair would soon share some less pleasant memories with the numerous fatigued travelers waiting for rescue, in addition to nice family recollections. Like so many others, the Noes were forced to sleep in their car overnight, suffering the cold and only using their engine for brief periods to save fuel.

“We were tired, furious, and hungry after about 21 hours of being trapped on 95 South, camping here over night, not having access to food or water, and all of the nearby towns being out of power,” Casey explains.

The pair had spotted a bakery company’s delivery truck parked nearby, and as the hours passed, they became increasingly hungry. They contacted Schmidt Baking Company’s customer service number, unsure if they would get an answer but encouraged by the groaning of their empty bellies.

“We didn’t expect it would work,” Casey admits, “but we got a wonderful surprise less than 20 minutes later.”

Chuck Paterakis, one of the proprietors of Schmidt Baking Company, personally contacted them with some wonderful news. He’d reached out to the truck driver, Ron Hill, and requested that he open the trailer and distribute the loaves of bread to the hungry motorists.

Truck driver, Ron Hill, opens Schmidt Baking Company's truck full of baked goods.
Courtesy of Casey Holihan Noe
Ron Hill distributes bread to stranded motorists on I-95 in Virginia.
Courtesy of Casey Holihan Noe

The proprietor was delighted to assist and happy that the couple had called the business. Ron received assistance in delivering the baked goods to more than 50 cars once the truck doors were opened. Many of those stranded on I-95 had young children, were old, or had pets with them, and after nearly a day without food, they were finally able to eat something, according to the Noes.

Casey expressed her gratitude for Schmidt Baking Company’s “heart and compassion” for the hungry passengers on Facebook. “We were all quite grateful.” “This was one of the nicest things I’ve ever seen.”

Casey gratefully displays bags of bread after long, hungry night stranded on I-95.
Courtesy of Casey Holihan Noe

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