The Salvation Army Thanks Foodshare Volunteers on National Donut Day

Jul 6, 2020

CONNECTICUT - National Donut Day was Friday, June 5th and Salvation Army soldiers made deliveries of Lyman Orchards donuts to various Foodshare distribution, including Rentschler Field and Foodshare’s headquarters in Bloomfield to thank them for their tireless work serving Connecticut neighbors in need.

“The Salvation Army and Foodshare have been working tirelessly to ensure families have adequate food supply during the Covid-19 crisis,” said Major Gregory Hartshorn, Divisional Commander of The Salvation Army Southern New England Division. “With June 5th being National Donut Day, we thought it would be great to pause and recognize our Foodshare partner and their volunteers for all their steadfast work in supplying food these past few months. We also thank Lyman Orchards for providing the donuts that could be shared with Foodshare staff and volunteers.”

Jason Jakubowski, President and CEO of Foodshare said, “Thank you to our community partners The Salvation Army and Lyman Orchards for honoring our staff and volunteers as we continue to provide food to people in need during this pandemic and beyond.”

Lyman Orchards donated the 600 donuts. “Lyman Orchard’s is excited to have participated in the Salvation Army’s Donut Day program, as we recognize that so many people in our community have been adversely affected by COVID-19, and we see this as a way to help lessen the impact for those in need,” said John Lyman III, Executive Vice President of Lyman Orchards, located in Middlefield, CT. Lyman Orchards is one of the most popular family attractions in New England and is now in its 275th year.

Some of the 600 donuts were later delivered to The Salvation Army in Meriden, New Britain and Middletown.

National Donut Day was established by The Salvation Army in 1938 to honor The Salvation Army Donut Lassies, who served the sweet treats to soldiers on the front lines of World War I. To honor National Donut Day’s historic roots, Salvation Army staff, volunteers and partners will make donut deliveries to first responders and volunteers nationwide. “National Donut Day has become a true American tradition in which The Salvation Army asks the general public to remember those who fought in World War I, as well as their neighbors who may have fallen on hard times,” said Major Hartshorn. “This year, we thank our nation’s first responders and volunteers for supporting those in need during the COVID-19 crisis.”

Ever since World War I, The Salvation Army and donuts have shared a common heritage. In 1917, after 36 days of steady rain, Ensigns Helen Purviance and Margaret Sheldon decided that the boys needed some real home cooking, “but supplies had run out and were difficult to buy locally.” The only things they could purchase were flour, sugar, lard, baking powder, cinnamon, and canned milk. “What about pancakes? No good cold, or without syrup.” The first donuts were patted out by hand. A small wood fire was coaxed in a low, pot-bellied stove. A frying pan was used, and the first donuts were fried “seven at a time.” The tempting fragrance of frying donuts drew the homesick solders to the hut, and they lined up in the rain, waiting for a taste. The word went around. “If you’re hungry and broke, you can get something to eat at The Salvation Army.”

The Salvation Army celebrated the first National Donut Day in Chicago in 1938 to help raise needed funds during the Great Depression and commemorate the work of the “donut lassies” who fed the tasty confection to American soldiers and made the doughnut what it is today. The donuts became synonymous with The Salvation Army, as well as the American soldiers who were returning home with the nickname, “doughboys.” Today, The Salvation Army continues to provide meals, including donuts, and numerous other services to clients who visit their programs daily.

To Donate:

For Connecticut: Text GIVECT to 71777

For Rhode Island: Text GIVERI to 71777

Read more about how The Salvation Army is helping those in need during this crisis.

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