National Doughnut Day, which is celebrated on the first Friday of June, is more than just a celebration of the fried confectionaries. The day actually has its roots in America’s war history and pays homage to the women who provided food and comfort to soldiers during World War I and II. Here is some of the history involved in the remembrance, as well as some locations where free donuts could be claimed.
The origins of National Doughnut or Donut Day, depending on one’s preference, lie in World War I deployment when approximately 250 Salvation Army officers were sent to Europe in an effort to comfort U.S. troops. The workers talked to soldiers and helped them write letters home, as well as made and served doughnuts along the frontline trenches. These activities provided a sense of calm and a bit of home to the soldiers on the battlefield. The Salvation Army helpers, who were primarily women, became known as ‘doughnut dollies’, ‘doughnut girls’, ‘doughnut lassies’, or ‘Sallies’. They later resumed their duties of serving doughnuts during World War II.
National Doughnut Day was first established by The Salvation Army in 1938 in Chicago, Illinois, as a way to raise money for social service ministries during the Depression. Its history is deeply rooted in America’s war efforts and social outreach programs to help keep the home fires burning, as well as provided assistance to the poor and homeless during the Depression. The day has become a national celebration of the sweet treats and the people who served them to soldiers in battle.
In honor of National Doughnut Day 2014, several businesses are celebrating by giving away free donuts to customers on Friday, June 6. Each business has its own rules and regulations for participating in the annual holiday, which usually involves the purchase of some item such as a beverage. Here is a compilation of several places where an individual could claim a free donut in recognition of the observance.
Tim Hortons will offer a free donut to any customer in the U.S. who makes an in-store purchase on June 6. “One of the most glorious days of the year will soon be here!” the franchise announced via its official Facebook page on May 30.
Another franchise, which is offering free confectionaries in observance of National Doughnut Day, is Krispy Kreme. The deal, which is also available to customers in the U.S. and Canada with the exception of Connecticut and Puerto Rico, encompasses all of Krispy Kreme’s varieties including the “World Famous Original Glazed” donut.
Dunkin’ Donuts will also be offering free donuts to customers on June 6 with the purchase of any beverage. The offer is while supplies last and is only valid at participating locations.
Another chain that is observing this year’s National Doughnut Day is Cumberland Farms. With the purchase of any coffee (iced or hot) or one of its signature Chill Zone beverages, all of Cumberland Farms’ newly renovated locations will be offering free donuts to customers on June 6.
While a free mini cake donut, along with Carnival Sprinkles, is awaiting Doughnut Plant NYC customers who visit any of its New York locations on National Doughnut Day. Only one donut is available per order and the offer is only while supplies last.
Another chain store that is participating in National Doughnut Day is Walmart. Again, with any purchase, customers can claim a free donut in observance of the sweet treats and the service workers who dispensed them to soldiers in war times.
National Doughnut Day, which is celebrated on the first Friday of June, has evolved into much more than just a celebration of the fried confectionaries. The day is deeply rooted in America’s war history and pays homage to the service workers, who were mainly women, whom provided food and comfort to soldiers during World War I and II. The history involved in the remembrance is in-depth and extensive, as are the various locations where free donuts could be claimed.
By Leigh Haugh