National Doughnut Day Has Salvation Army Origins

National Doughnut Day Has Salvation Army Origins


National Doughnut Day

National Doughnut Day is finally upon us. In the modern world, there is almost a holiday for any cause, or aspect of society, but National Doughnut Day has a historic Salvation Army origins. According to K-Hits, a division of CBS Radio, Inc., National Doughnut Day was established in 1938 by the Salvation Army in Chicago. Their goal was to raise money for the needy during the Great Depression. The Holiday is held every year on the first Friday in June and has become an occasion to find free doughnuts at retailers across the country.

In 1938, National Doughnut Day also honored the Salvation Army volunteers from WWI, who were on the battlefield with the soldiers and their allies. These volunteers provided assistance to soldiers through spiritual aid, writing supplies, hot meals, stamps, and comfort. When morale was low, the volunteers fried doughnuts in the helmets of the soldiers and gave them coffee. This was especially common when food rations were low.  The European treat was so popular amongst the soldiers, they brought the recipe home and began to spread the sweet treat across the Unites States once the war was over.

In the modern world, the Salvation Army uses the tasty treat to raise awareness for the various social service programs they facilitate, which are used to feed 1.5 million people in the Chicago area each year. This shows the Salvation Army has maintained their mission and goal over all these years. The Salvation Army does so much more than providing food to communities across the United States.

“Fortune” states, doughnuts are an important part of America’s food pyramid because it is the preferred snack for law enforcement, an agreeable breakfast food for most, and the nightmare of dieticians. National Doughnut Day has such historic origins with the Salvation Army, but has turned into an excuse to find free food and wear loose fitting pants. There are locations all over the country providing free doughnuts to their patrons.

“USA Today” mentions Dunkin Donuts is giving away free doughnuts to any individual purchasing a beverage. Krispy Kreme is offering free doughnuts to their customers at all of their locations. Randy’s Donuts is a Los Angeles doughnut chain, and they are giving away free donut holes from 6am to noon on Friday, June 3, 2016.

Duck Donuts is an east coast company and is offering free sugar donuts to any customer visiting their Facebook page. The grocery store chain Giant Eagle, Inc. is offering six free doughnuts with a purchase of six. Shipley Do-Nuts is offering free glazed doughnuts to customers from 5am to noon and is located primarily in the Midwest and the South, and a percent of their sales are going to the Salvation Army.

Many use this day to go out and eat doughnuts at national retailers, but there should be a new movement to make the tasty treats at home. This can be an exciting family activity, which can allow each member of the family to personalize their doughnut however they want. National Doughnut Day can also be used as a sleepover theme, that can include the personalization of doughnuts, or visiting various doughnut retailers to take advantage of all of the free doughnuts.

This holiday is always the first weekend in June. That means next year National Doughnut Day will be held on Friday, June 2, 2017. It is never too earlier to take advantage of a sweet day to raise money for many different causes. National Doughnut Day has Salvation Army origins, but can be used to benefit any charity at local schools, religious establishments, or nonprofit organizations across the country.

By Kristina Lasher

USA TODAY: Where to get free donuts for National Donut Day
K-HITS: The Long, Philanthropic History of National Doughnut Day
FORTUNE: Where to Eat for Free on National Doughnut Day

Image Courtesy of Salvation Army USA West’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License