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85 Years of National Donut Day Made Possible by The Salvation Army

85 Years of National Donut Day Made Possible by The Salvation Army

Celebrations take place across the country in honor of the food holiday that recognizes doing good for others

ALEXANDRIA, Va., June 1, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — National Donut Day has been celebrated for 85 years thanks to the country’s largest nongovernmental social service provider. Some people may not know that when they’re eating a donut on the first Friday of June each year, it’s more than simply a food holiday: it’s a recognition of selfless volunteers who serve people in need. The sweet day was established in 1938 to honor The Salvation Army’s “Donut Lassies,” who made history by serving thousands of soldiers on the front lines during World War I. Today, The Salvation Army officers, staff, and volunteers help serve people in need in almost every ZIP code in America.

Experience the full interactive Multichannel News Release here:

In 1917, courageous volunteers from The Salvation Army traveled to France and set up small huts near the front lines of war, where they provided spiritual and emotional support and donuts to boost morale. The donut was a taste of home and a symbol of comfort to American soldiers. More than a hundred years later, the donut continues to symbolize the joy the organization provides to people in need.   

“While The Salvation Army is known for helping 24 million people in the United States, we serve in 133 countries to help bring light to people during times of darkness,” said Commissioner Kenneth Hodder, national commander of The Salvation Army. “The iconic Donut Lassies represent how that help and hope can look a bit different but can provide service to those who need it the most.”

In celebration of this year’s National Donut Day on Friday, June 2, The Salvation Army is activating in locations across the country:

  • Chicago, Illinois: The Salvation Army will deliver donuts provided by Dunkin’ BF Group USA to veterans and front-line workers at Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital. In addition, all Dunkin’ BF Group USA locations in Chicago will offer a free donut to any customer who donates $2 to The Salvation Army on National Donut Day.
  • Cincinnati, Ohio: Local bakeries will provide donuts for a celebrity and first responder donut-stacking contest in partnership with Greater Cincinnati Retail Bakers Association. Donuts will also be delivered to the VA Medical Center and Fiona the Hippo (and her family) at the Cincinnati Zoo.
  • Clarksville, Tennessee: In partnership with the USO at Fort Campbell, donuts will be delivered to troops in the field at their training posts.
  • Detroit, Michigan: Donuts will be delivered to local businesses that have been nominated for Doing the Most Good in their community.
  • Michigan City, Indiana: The Eighth Annual Donut-Eating Contest will be held with local celebrity contestants.
  • North Texas: In remembrance of why Donut Day was founded, The Salvation Army staff is partnering with local mayors and City Council members to deliver donuts to first responders and thank them for their selfless service.
  • Phoenix, Arizona: Bashas’ will donate a portion of its donut sales on National Donut Day to The Salvation Army.
  • Puerto Rico: Donuts will be delivered to eight local firefighter stations courtesy of Krispy Kreme.
  • San Diego, California: Aboard the USS Midway, female military veterans will be honored for their service. Attendees can also make a donation to help send a local child to summer camp to enjoy the camp experience and the great outdoors for the very first time.
  • Santa Monica, California: The Salvation Army staff and City Council members will be distributing donuts on the Promenade.
  • Spokane, Washington: Donut Lassies will be delivering donuts to the VA Medical Center.
  • Western Pennsylvania: 35 dozen donuts will be delivered to veterans at the VA in Pittsburgh courtesy of Giant Eagle. An inaugural Donut Day 5K will be hosted June 3.

For more information about National Donut Day or to download the Donut Lassies’ original recipe, visit

About The Salvation Army USA 

The Salvation Army annually helps nearly 24 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction, and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at nearly 7,000 centers of operation around the country. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood.

Rebecca Reap
[email protected]

SOURCE The Salvation Army

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