It’s the yeast they could do.
A Maryland couple stranded without food in the freezing cold on a Virginia highway this week were getting hungrier and more desperate by the minute.
After about 20 hours stuck on Interstate 95, Casey Holihan and her husband, John Noe, spotted a Schmidt Baking Co. truck ahead of them in the standstill.
“We were starving. People around us were very much struggling as well. We could hear kids crying,” Holihan, 23, told the Washington Post.
By that time, the famished couple hadn’t eaten anything for a whopping 37 hours.
In a desperate bid for a bite, they decided to call the Baltimore-based bakery and see if it could help provide some much-needed sustenance for them, as well as their fellow highway captives.
“I didn’t think it would actually work,” said Holihan, who left a message with customer service.
But 20 minutes later, they actually got a call from Chuck Paterakis, one of the owners of H&S Bakery, which operates Schmidt Baking. He told them to walk over to the truck driver, Ron Hill, and ask him to pass out the bread.
Paterakis told Hill to give one package of rolls and one loaf to any motorist who needed them, according to the paper.
“It was an easy decision,” Paterakis told the outlet, explaining that if he had been stuck on I-95 like that, “I would want someone to offer their products.”
The couple – who were headed to visit Noe’s family in North Carolina – joined the driver in making deliveries. Soon, others joined the effort, in which some 300 loaves of bread were handed out.
“We started going door to door and we got to help a lot of people,” Holihan told the paper. “Some people said this was a saving grace for them.”
A TikTok video of the rollout quickly went viral.
“This couple had not eaten a thing for 37 hours stranded on this frozen Virginia interstate so they called the bread company whose truck was just ahead of them, asking if they could have what was inside,” the narrator says.
“To their surprise, the driver of the truck was contacted and was given the go-ahead to start handing out bread to 50 hungry motorists,” the narrator adds.
Holihan also gave a shoutout to Schmidt Baking on Facebook.
“This is an incredible thank you to Schmidt Baking Company for your humanity and compassion,” she wrote.
“After almost 21 hours of being stuck on 95 South, sleeping here over night, not having access to food or water, and all of the nearest towns being out of power we were tired, frustrated, and hungry,” Holihan wrote.
“Many of the people stuck out here had small children, were elderly, had pets in the car, and hadn’t eaten in almost a whole day,” she continued.
“We reached out to Schmidt Baking Company and begged them to open their truck that was stuck out here with us. We didn’t think it would actually work, but less then (sic) 20 minutes later we got an incredible surprise,” Holihan wrote.
“We received a personal call from the owner of the company Chuck who contacted the driver. 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,” she said.
“This was one of the kindest moments I have ever witnessed,” Holihan added.
In an interview with WBAL-TV, Holihan said: “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,” she added.
Paterakis said he never imagined he’d be able to help feed stranded motorists.
“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,” he told WBAL.
“It was very gratifying to me. It was something I will always remember,” Paterakis added.