The idea for Donut Day began on the battlefields of France during World War I when Salvation Army workers served coffee and donuts to soldiers in the trenches. Rations were poor so the donut idea was conceived as a means of bringing the soldiers cheer. Donuts were not the reason Salvation Army workers were in the fighting zones of France. Those men and women were there primarily to give spiritual aid and comfort to the American soldier and his allies. They were there to be a link with home and family.

Today, Salvation Army workers continue to care for and comfort thousands of people each day who battle hunger around the world and here in the Chicagoland area. By supporting Donut Day, with a donation or through volunteering, you help The Salvation Army keep its food pantries, meals on wheels, senior citizen feeding programs and childcare nutrition programs alive and well. If you can give a few dollars or a few hours of your time, you will help provide 1.5 million meals to the hungry in Chicagoland.

Your involvement is crucial! You are the one that can help the hungry have a warm nutritious meal; all you have to do is be willing to give through a donation or by volunteering. If you can do that, please DONATE NOW or VOLUNTEER TODAY.

78th Annual National Donut Day Fun Facts:

Chicago Donut DaySalvation Army:

  • The Salvation Army started National Donut Day during the Great Depression as a way to raise funds and bring awareness to The Salvation Army’s social service programs.
  • National Donut Day commemorates the “donut lassies,” female Salvation Army volunteers who provided writing supplies, stamps, clothes-mending and home-cooked meals, and of course, donuts, for soldiers on the front lines.
  • Approximately 250 Salvation Army volunteers provided assistance to American soldiers in France starting in 1917 during WWI.
  • With limited resources, these treats were fried, only seven at a time. The Salvation Army’s Ensign Margaret Sheldon and Adjutant Helen Purviance cleverly thought of frying donuts in soldiers’ helmets.
  • Last year, 30 million Americans received assistance from The Salvation Army’s 3,600 officers, 60,000 employees and 3.4 million volunteers.

Chicago Donut DayEntenmann’s Bakery:

  • Entenmann’s has made more than 4 billion donuts – if you laid them end-to-end, you could wrap them around the earth almost 9 times!
  •  The Rich Frosted Donut has been the #1 seller since its introduction in 1972.
  • Entenmann’s Donut Facility in Carlisle, Pennsylvania is the largest donut plant in the United States, producing more than 40 million boxes of yummy delight each year.
  • Believing that people were more inclined to buy what they can see, the Entenmann’s brothers, William, Robert and Charles, and mother, Martha, invented the familiar “see-through” cake box for baked goods in 1959.
  • At one time, more than 168 million pounds of chocolate have been used for Entenmann’s Rich Frosted Donuts, enough to fill all of the Great Lakes.
  • In the early ’50s, Frank Sinatra used to call the Bay Shore bakery to place weekly orders from Entenmann’s.