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.
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.