National Donut Day has roots in Salvation Army

Published 2:26 pm Thursday, June 1, 2023

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Perhaps, everyone who has a sweet tooth is aware that the first Friday in June is National Donut Day.

Perhaps, many of those donut lovers are also aware that around the 9 a.m. hour on National Donut Day, the Pike County Salvation Army treats its customers with free donuts.

And, perhaps, not many people who celebrate National Donut Day know that the sweet tradition is rooted in the Salvation Army.

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Donna Kidd, director of the Pike County Salvation Army Service Center, said National Donut Day got its start during World War 1 when 250 Salvation Army women volunteered to travel overseas to serve front line servicemen with donuts, emotional and spiritual support and other essential supplies.

These Salvation Army women became, affectionately known, as Donut Lassies and are credited with popularizing the donut in the United States as troops returned home from war, Kidd said. The Salvation Army in Chicago was the first to celebrate National Donut Day to help those in need during the Great Depression and commemorate the Donut Lassies noble work.

For more than 150 years, the Salvation Army has provided a wide range of essential services including food, shelter and emotional and spiritual support to the most vulnerable and those in crisis.

“Friday is National Donut Day and we, at the Pike County Salvation Army Service Center and Thrift Store, are proud to participate knowing that this fun tradition started with our very own volunteers more than 100 years ago,” Kidd said. “To honor the history of National Donut Day, the Salvation Army of Pike County will celebrate by giving away donuts to our early morning customers.”