Mark Your Calendars: Friday, June 5, Is National Donut Day!

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National Donut Day is celebrated annually on the first Friday of June (Credit: hustlemoneyblog.com)

If you are looking for an excuse to indulge in a donut or two, here is a perfect one. Friday, June 5, 2020, is National Donut Day, which means it is your civic duty to devour one — or even a dozen — of the fried treats. Observed annually on the first Friday of June, the yummy holiday was not established by donut manufacturers to boost sales, but by Salvation Army volunteers to raise funds for the poor.

The Salvation Army's association with donuts began in 1917 when four women volunteers were dispatched to France to tend to injured World War I soldiers. To lift the spirits of the homesick and miserable troops, Ensign Margaret Sheldon and Adjutant Helen Purviance decided to use the limited ingredients at their disposal — flour, sugar, lard, baking powder, cinnamon, and canned milk — to make donuts.

Preparing the treats was no easy task. With no rolling pins, donut cutters, or frying pans to be found, the volunteers patted the dough by hand and cooked them, seven at a time, in a soldier's helmet. Despite working late into the night, the women managed to make only one hundred and fifty donuts the first night, and three hundred the next. However, the effort was well worth it.

Salvation Army volunteers made donuts to cheer the homesick troops during World War I (Credit: The Salvation Army Chattanooga / Public domain)

The tempting aroma of fresh donuts brought much-needed cheer to the soldiers, who would patiently wait for hours in cold and damp weather to get their treat. Once fully equipped, the "Donut Lassies" as they were later called, dished out as many as 9,000 donuts a day! The simple dessert became a symbol of the Salvation Army's efforts to ease the hardships of American troops and was also used to comfort frontline soldiers during World War II (1939-1945) and the Vietnam War (1955-1975).

In 1938, the Chicago chapter of the Salvation Army came up with the brilliant idea to sell donuts, made using the original WWI recipe, to the general public to raise much-needed funds for the poor during the Great Depression. It was so popular that they made it an annual event, and National Donut Day was born. Over the years, several donut manufactures and retailers have joined in the celebrations by handing out free or discounted treats.

Among them is Krispy Kreme, which has traditionally offered a free donut to all customers on National Donut Day. However, this year, the company is taking the celebrations up a notch with a "National Donut Week." From June 1 to June 5, 2020, customers at any Krispy Kreme locations will receive a free donut of their choice, with no purchase required.

Krispy Kreme is celebrating its first National Donut Week in 2020 (Credit: Krispy Kreme)

In honor of their selfless service during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare, childcare, education, and first-responder professionals will receive two free donuts from LaMar's Donuts. All other members of the public will receive one free donut of their choice. The company is also asking the public to nominate outstanding public service professionals for its inaugural Essential Service Awards. Winners will receive — you guessed it — a year's worth of free donuts!

Dunkin' Donuts, meanwhile, will continue its regular National Donut Day tradition of giving out a free classic donut with the purchase of a beverage. Many neighborhood donut stores will also participate in the celebrations with specials and freebies, so be sure to visit the one closest to you.

Though it is the most popular, National Donut Day is not the only holiday dedicated to the dessert. Donut fans will celebrate National Jelly-Filled Donut Day on June 8, National Cream-Filled Donut Day on September 14, and National Donut Appreciation Day on November 5! Given all these excuses to eat the yummy treat, it should come as no surprise that Americans consume 10 billion donuts — or about 31 donuts per person — annually!

Happy National Donut Day!

Resources: Wikipedia.org, BusinessInsider.com, wral.com,worldwar1centennial.org

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392 Comments
  • plarrvonyoutube
    plarrvonyoutubeWednesday, September 30, 2020 at 11:12 am
    to be honest this article mad me want a donut so bad! DONUTS ARE SOO GOOOOD! also thanks for the facts :)
    • cuteuni
      cuteuniThursday, September 24, 2020 at 10:09 am
      I LOVE DONUTS! They are so good yummy and heaven! I rembeer one time I ate my first donut and I was one my 2 donut I half ate it and my brother said it the rest and I loved it so much I shoved it in my mouth and swallowed it! (:
      • waterfliper123
        waterfliper123Sunday, January 3, 2021 at 10:56 am
        wow
        • braiden691
          braiden691Friday, September 25, 2020 at 6:54 am
          Must of really liked it. I remember, I was at a store with my mom, and there was a cookery part with muffins or thing like that. The owner of that part of the store handed me a card. He said, “Every day you come here, you get a free cookie. And if you come here 10 days, you get a free DONUT! I was about 6 or 7 years old at the time, and I LOVED that deal.
        • bibuwugi-160029735965
          bibuwugi-160029735965Thursday, September 24, 2020 at 9:01 am
          Now I want a dounut
          • suleha
            sulehaThursday, September 24, 2020 at 8:44 am
            mmmm... .now im sooo hungry for a donut!!🍩🍩🍩
            • heyheygirl
              heyheygirlThursday, December 3, 2020 at 4:59 pm
              Doughnuts are my favorite desert. I used to go to the doughnut shop with my dad and sister every morning...
            • living4nik
              living4nikWednesday, September 23, 2020 at 9:40 am
              yum
              • rfgcgzfghg
                rfgcgzfghgWednesday, September 16, 2020 at 4:40 pm
                Yum😁😊😀🙃
                • gabbie1004
                  gabbie1004Monday, September 14, 2020 at 12:59 pm
                  I love donuts
                  • wolf-angle
                    wolf-angleSaturday, September 12, 2020 at 11:59 am
                    Yummy
                    • jomiwowu-156993535441
                      jomiwowu-156993535441Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 6:37 am
                      i love long jones there the best
                      • superdragon
                        superdragonThursday, August 27, 2020 at 8:41 am
                        yummy donuts