The Salvation Army National Donut Day

May 26, 2022

On the front lines of World War I, the first Salvation Army donut was made by a Lassie. The Salvation Army selected its best women to serve. Putting the needs of the American soldiers before her own safety, the Lassie made use of the simple ingredients she had access to: flour, milk, sugar and eggs. In August,1917, fighting raged near Montiers, France. Soldiers huddled in camp, hungry, weary, and drenched by 36 consecutive days of rain. Ever resourceful, in a tent near the front lines, Salvation Army Lassies made donuts by filling a refuge pail with oil. The dough was assembled with left over flour and other ingredients on hand. Using a wine bottle as a rolling pin, a baking powder tin for a cutter end and a camphor-ice suck tube for making the holes, the donuts took shape. Later, a seven-pound shell fitted with a one-pound shell was used to cut out the donut holes.

Fried seven at a time in a soldier's steel helmet Lassies used an 18-inch stove to cook the donuts. As the rain fell continuously, the water-soaked tent finally collapsed, but the 100 donuts made that day were an immediate success. Soon, as many as 500 soldiers stood in muck outside the resurrected tent waiting for the sweet taste of donuts. Before long,9,000 donuts were being made around the clock and the tent became the first 24-hour donut shop.

Word spread, and though the basic recipe varied from unit to unit, The Salvation Army Lassies were making donuts wherever the war was being fought. Donuts were taken to the front lines. It was reported that some pilots even dropped notes asking for donuts for their troops.

Returning soldiers solidified the donut's place in history, popularizing the tasty treats in America.

WHO: Major Tom Duperree, Area Commander, The Salvation Army Greater Toledo

WHEN: Friday, June 3, 2022, 9:00am-11:00am

WHERE: Parking Lot at The Salvation Army, 620 N. Erie St. Toledo, OH 43604

Recent Stories

Related Content: Media AlertNorthwest Ohio

Get Involved

A gift to The Salvation Army helps someone in your community.

Give Now



Do Good in your community

Find Worship

Join us throughout the week for worship, fellowship, Bible study, meals, community service and fun.