The Salvation Army and Donut Lassies believe a donut is more than a sweet treat

(Photo by Andrew Chin/Getty Images)
(Photo by Andrew Chin/Getty Images) /

For The Salvation Army and the Donut Lassies, National Donut Day is more than a free donut.

The first Friday in June is National Donut Day. Looking back at history, The Salvation Army and the Donut Lassies are the ones to thank for this food celebration. While everyone enjoys annual food holiday, the reason behind this donut day continues to resonate today.

The first National Donut Day celebration goes back to 1938. During the Great Depression, The Salvation Army of Chicago used the donut to boost people’s spirit. But, the idea of a donut doing good goes back even farther.

The Donut Lassies helped boost troops’ morale in World War I. This group of women went to the front lines to give both emotional and spiritual support to those soldiers fighting on the front lines. These volunteers would fry donuts and deliver them to soldiers. At times, they would deliver 9,000 donuts a day.

The gesture of frying donuts for the troops might seem small, but it had a lasting impact. While it popularized the idea of the fried dough treat, it showed that kind gestures can come in all shapes and sizes.

Today, The Salvation Army continues the idea behind the Donut Lassies, National Donut Day and using donuts to bring smiles. This year, donuts will be brought to healthcare workers and first responders who are fighting on today’s frontline battle.

While many people will happily head to their favorite donut shop to enjoy a donut or two, the day can be more than just eating a sweet treat. Given the history behind the holiday, why not look at the concept of using small gestures to boost morale. Although a donut will not change the world, it can be a small positive in an otherwise chaotic time.

As part of this year’s National Donut Day, The Salvation Army shared a Donut Recipe from the Front Lines. While this donut recipe might not be in every home cook’s repertoire, it can be a reason to make the recipe and share the donuts with someone. From the neighbor down the street to even explaining the history of the day to the kids, that donut can be more than just another sweet treat.

Here’s how to make a Donut Recipe from the Front Lines.


  • 2 large eggs
  • 5 Cups of Flour
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 5 teaspoons of baking powder
  • ¼ tablespoon of salt
  • 1 ¾ cups milk
  • 2 cups shortening


  • Combine all ingredients (except shortening) to make dough
  • Thoroughly knead dough, roll smooth, and cut into rings that are less than ¼ inch thick
  • Drop rings into the shortening. Make sure the shortening is hot enough to brown the donuts gradually. Turn the donuts slowly several times.
  • When browned, remove donuts and allow excess fat to drip off.
  • Dust with powdered sugar. Let cool and enjoy.

Recipe provided by The Salvation Army.

Whether you enjoy this donut recipe, a donut from your favorite donut shop or just grab a treat from the grocery store, take a moment to thank The Salvation Army and the Donut Lassies. While they might not have invented the donut, they showed everyone that a donut can be a bite of happiness.

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Are you celebrating National Donut Day? What is your favorite donut?