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Remember the huge winter storm that left 300,000 Maryland and Virginia residents without power in 2022? Well it also left many motorists stranded on Interstate 95 overnight, waiting for crews to clear the road. After all that time stuck in their cars, folks were getting desperately hungry. A bakery with a truck stuck in the traffic saved the day when it agreed to give everything away. But it wasn’t the baker’s idea.

John Noe and Casey Holihahn were on the way to visit his family in North Carolina when the brutal storm closed the interstate. They, along with dozens of drivers, were completely stranded on I-95 for a day and all night. At 9 AM the next morning they were still waiting for rescue when Holihahn realized they had not eaten in 37 hours. Then she spotted the holy grail: a bakery truck parked a few cars away.

Instead of robbing the truck or hassling the driver, the couple had the bright idea to call the bakery. They reached the customer service line and explained the situation. What they suggested was opening the truck and distributing the food to everyone on the road. They were told to hang tight.

Cars stuck in a traffic jam during a snow storm.
Highway snowstorm | David McNew/Getty Images

Holihan said, “We didn’t think it would actually work.” But 20 minutes later she “received a personal call from the owner of the company.”  The owner, Chuck Paterakis, said he had reached out to the driver and told him to give his shipment to other trapped motorists.

“This driver Ron Hill opened the back of the truck and with the help of some people close by passed out bread to more than 50 cars who were all incredibly thankful…This was one of the kindest moments I have ever witnessed.”

Casey Holihahn

Holihahn said they handed out about 300 packages of bread. “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.”

Once they got too cold to continue delivering, I imagine the couple got back in their own car and very much enjoyed a well-earned feast.

Paterakis said his bakery was, “very humbled and grateful that we could help.” but that overall “it was an easy decision” to share with the motorists in need. The Maryland Governor met with Paterakis to give him a governor’s citation for helping out all the people in need.

See Noe, Holihahn, Paterakis, and Ron Hill all interviewed on the Kelly Clarkson show in the video below: