KEY POINTS

  • National Donut Day is celebrated every first Friday of June
  • To mark the event, many donut stores give away free donuts
  • The history of National Donut Day actually dates back to World War I

June 5 marks National Donut Day, a day when many donut stores across the United States give away the free dessert to celebrate the event. It is a simple yet fun event that donut stores take part in to mark the occasion. However, why do people celebrate it?

Every first Friday of June is National Donut Day, and there is a story behind celebrating this day.

During World War I, nearly 250 volunteers went overseas to provide meals for the troops. In 1917, the women of the Salvation Army served the very first "Salvation Army Doughnut." American infantrymen then called donuts "dough boys," and they were cooked not in pans or deep fryers as many do today, but inside the helmets of American soldiers.

In 1938, the Salvation Army created National Donut Day to celebrate the volunteers who provided food and served donuts to the soldiers during World War I, and, also as a fundraiser for the Chicago Salvation Army with the goal of helping those who were in need during the Great Depression.

Today, people celebrate National Donut Day by enjoying their favorite donuts from their beloved stores, be it a large chain or a local bakery. Some may even want to grab a dozen to donate to first responders or their favorite charity. The Salvation Army, for instance, will mark the occasion by delivering donuts to the people in the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.  

"The Salvation Army will thank the men and women on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic by delivering donuts and hope," the Salvation Army said. "For more than a century, the organization has continued to provide snacks, hydration, and comfort to the first responders and front-line workers."

People can get free donuts on National Donut Day in stores such as Dunkin’, which is offering a free donut for every purchase of a beverage, and Krispy Kreme, which celebrated the event for the entire week. The Heavenly Donut Company in Alabama and Randy’s Donuts are also giving away free donuts, while Mighty-O Donuts is donating 10% of its National Donut Day sales to their essential employees. 

No matter how people celebrate the event, perhaps it could be more meaningful knowing how the occasion began with the bravery and kindness of the volunteers.

National Donut Day National Doughnut Day is celebrated every first Friday of June. Photo: Edward Lich/Pixabay