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The history behind National Donut Day

Posted at 12:02 PM, Jun 01, 2022

RICHMOND, Va. -- National Donut Day is celebrated each year the first Friday of June, but the tradition dates back more than 100 years. Captain Melody Moran of The Salvation Army of Central Virginia joined us to share the story.

In 1917, Salvation Army volunteers traveled to France and set up makeshift huts on the front lines, where they provided essential goods and sweet treats to boost morale. The donut was then, and continues to be, a taste of home and a symbol of comfort for Americans.

The Salvation Army established National Donut Day in 1938 to honor The Salvation Army’s “Donut Lassies,” who made history when they risked their lives to raise spirits and fuel hope by serving thousands of soldiers during WWI, in part by delivering donuts and other sweet treats to those in the war.

This year, The Salvation Army of Central Virginia will deliver donuts to the National Guard and Hunter Holmes McGuire Veteran Hospital to celebrate National Donut Day.

The organization is also partnering with Williams Bakery to give out free glazed donuts at their three Richmond locations. As you pick up your free donut, team members will be on hand so you can learn more about Donut Day and how The Salvation Army is "Doing the Most Good."

Donut Recipe
The Salvation Army's donut recipe from the front lines