History Behind The Salvation Army's National Donut Day

Jun 5, 2023

CONNECTICUT — On Friday, June 2nd, The Salvation Army kicked off Donut Day at Lyman Orchards. After a brief press conference, Salvation Army personnel departed with their supply of donuts that were served to veterans, VA employees, reservists, and active-duty service members throughout Connecticut.

The distribution sites included the Department of Veterans Affairs located at 287 West Street in Rocky Hill, the Newington Veterans Medical Center located at 555 Willard Avenue, and the Veterans Medical Center located at 950 Campbell Avenue in West Haven. Lyman Orchards is donating 700 donuts for National Donut Day.

National Donut Day is celebrated each year on the first Friday of June (June 2nd), but people may be surprised to learn that donuts do more than simply taste good. They can actually do good, too.

The Salvation Army established National Donut Day in 1938 to honor The Salvation Army’s “Donut Lassies,” who made history when they risked their lives to raise spirits and fuel hope by serving thousands of soldiers during WWI, in part by delivering donuts and other sweet treats to those in the war.

In 1917, Salvation Army volunteers traveled to France and set up makeshift huts on the front lines, where they provided essential goods and sweet treats to boost morale. The donut was then, and continues to be, a taste of home and a symbol of comfort for Americans.

More than a hundred years later, The Salvation Army is still serving on the front lines, now through a wide range of social services for America’s most vulnerable individuals and families. In 2022, The Salvation Army served over 460,000 meals to those in need in Connecticut.

“Lyman Orchards is proud to be working with The Salvation Army to support our veterans and active service members on National Donut Day,” said John Lyman, Executive Vice President of Lyman Orchards. “What better way to celebrate than with our cinnamon cider donuts, which are voted consistently as Connecticut’s best donuts.”

“As the citizens of Connecticut celebrate National Donut Day, we are proud to remember that this fun tradition of sharing a sweet treat and a happy memory started with our very own volunteers over a hundred years ago,” said Major Debra Ashcraft, Divisional Commander of The Salvation Army’s Southern New England Division. “If you ask me, knowing that the day has its roots in the fight for good and serving those on the frontlines makes those pastries taste even sweeter.”

Recent Stories

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.