Chains offer free treats on National Donut Day

History of National Donut Day

At one point or another in our lives, we’ve found ourselves craving a donut. When we think about it, it’s not really a surprise that this treat hits the spot like no other. They pair exceptionally well with tasty hot beverages, they can be had as a quick snack or to accompany a long conversation. Most of all, there’s a donut out there for all of us; from traditional glaze to daring recipes such as maple-bacon donuts.   The origins of National Donut Day are traced to The Salvation Army’s involvement in World War I. During this time, a group of volunteers was dispatched to the frontlines with the mission of providing comforting meals for the troops. They soon found out that donuts were an effective way to provide food while navigating the difficulties of cooking in very dire circumstances. These brave volunteers would later be known as “donut lassies”. They would even use war helmets as a utensil to fry up seven donuts at a time.   In 1938 “Donut Day” was established as a way to honor the members of the Salvation Army that came to the aid of soldiers during World War I. Nowadays, National Donut Day is widely celebrated on the first Friday of June. Many donut shops are known to give them our for free, giving a good reason to take some time out of the day to enjoy this most cherished treat.

By the Numbers

10 billion – the number of donuts made in the U.S. each year.

10 – the number of people living in America with ‘Donut’ as their surname.

13 – the number of people who have ‘Donut’ as their first name.

2480 – the city of Boston has one donut shop for every 2,480 people.

20 – the number of donuts Renée Zellweger ate every day to gain weight for the sequel of “Bridget Jones’s Diary.”

9 – the Guinness World Record for the most powdered donuts eaten in three minutes.

201.02 million – the number of donuts consumed by Americans in 2020. 

100,000 – the number of donuts churned out by Entenmann’s every hour. 

3,660 – the number of donuts it will take to reach the top of the Statue of Liberty.

55 million – the number of donuts it would take to get from Long Beach, California, to Long Island, New York.


National Donut Day Facts

  • Date: Jun 03, 2022
  • National
  • Also Called: Doughnut Day
  • Celebrations: Popular chains across the country distribute free donuts.
iImage Credit:  flickr/@tsausawest  iImage Credit: flickr/@tsausawest

What is National Donut Day? Unlike the many food related holidays, the Chicago wing of the Salvation Army was instrumental in establishing the National Donut Day holiday in 1938. This started a charity event during the Great depression and in memory of the Salvation Army “lassies” who served complimentary donuts and coffee to soldiers during the World War I. Till date, the Salvation Army uses this day to conduct charity events in the United States of America. Margaret Sheldon and Helen Purviance were two Salvation Army volunteers who came up with the idea of providing dounuts for the soldiers during the World War I. The donuts were a symbol of motherhood and home. This idea was deeply appreciated by the soldiers and soon the women who were involved in this work were nicknamed “Doughnut Girls”. Since the establishment of the holiday, the donut manufacturers and other related retailers rejoice by handing out free or discounted donuts to the customers on this day. Doughnuts / donuts are made of sweet dough that is deep-fried and sweetened. They are characteristically round with a hole in the centre. There are many varieties flavours, shapes and sizes of donuts. These include cinnamon twist donuts, fritters, centre filled donuts, glazed donuts, chocolate covered donuts and sour cream donuts. The origin of the donut is not clear however the unique shape made an appearance in the United States around the mid-1800’s. It is said that Hanson Gregory was instrumental in introducing this shape as a result of distaste for the raw cores and oiliness of the original shapes of the donuts. He is said to have obtained the shape by pressing the centre to make a hole in the centre with a tin pepper box. National Donut Day is an unofficial holiday that occurs every year on the first Friday of June. This originated in US and has been adopted in other countries like Canada, Australia and UK. Although Doughnut is the original, old-school spelling, Donut is a shorted version that has been made popular by Dunkin Donuts. The other donut dedicated holidays are “International Jelly-Filled Doughnut Day”, celebrated on June 8, “National Cream-Filled Doughnut Day” that falls on September 14. Buy a Doughnut Day occurs on October 30. However, the history and origins about these holidays are ambiguous. National Donut Day retains the spot of being the most popular and well-known donut holiday. With the rise of marketing gimmicks that try to cash in on the popularity of the holiday, the significance of this holiday is lost to history. This day is now just seen as a day to cash in on free donuts from major donut chains. You can grab your favourite donut from donut stores like Krispy Kreme and Dunkin Donuts that offer free donuts on this day. You can volunteer to help at the events and fundraisers conducted by the Salvation Army at your location and experience the spirit of giving back to the society. Your time and donation towards the Salvation Army can help and ensure that they can continue to sustain their efforts to spread goodwill through their work around the world. Hashtags like #NationalDonutDay and #NationalDoughnutDay can help you keep up with the latest news and deals about the festivities and other related posts on social media. You can make donuts at home or pick up a donut box from the store to share with your near and dear ones. It is a way to get together with family and bring in a feeling of togetherness.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Go up