This past Friday was National Donut Day. Though it sounds more like an internet scheme, the national food holiday, which is held on the first Friday of every June, can actually be traced back to the WWI.
National Donut Day was established in 1938, set up right after Memorial Day, to celebrate another type of U.S. troop- women with the Salvation Army who delivered doughnuts and coffee to soldiers during the war.
Though the actual origin of the food is disputed, with many claiming the donut was brought by Dutch settlers, or invented by an American man named Hansen Gregory, the ring-shaped cake America enjoys today may have originated from the Salvation Army. The very first was given to a man in uniform by Helen Purvience, an ensign nurse. The treat later spread throughout the ranks, becoming a staple food for the soldiers. The Salvation Army’s recipe has since been modified, but closely resembles the one used by most eateries today.
In honor of the food holiday, several franchises distributed free doughnuts. Krispy Kreme offered a free donut per customer, no purchase necessary, while Dunkin’ Donuts handed out free donuts with each beverage bought. Local chains like Lamar’s Donuts and Tim Horton’s are also participating through various means. Meanwhile, Entenmann’s, the leading baked-good producer, served the largest box of donuts ever made, and donated $25,000 to the Salvation Army as well.