National Doughnuts Day on June 7 | Sunday Observer

National Doughnuts Day on June 7

National Doughnuts Day was celebrated on June 7, 2019

To say that Americans love doughnuts is an understatement. A 2017 survey conducted by Dawn Foods, a global manufacturer and ingredients supplier to bakeries worldwide, found that the average US resident eats 31 doughnuts a year — or about two or three a month. The consumption, of course, goes up exponentially on National Doughnut Day, which this year was celebrated on June 7, 2019! The history of the holiday, observed annually on the first Friday of June, can be traced to Salvation Army workers who went to assist US troops during World War I (WWI). When the 'Doughnut Girls,' as they were later called, arrived in France in 1917, they found the soldiers were miserable and homesick.

To try to cheer them up, Salvation Army Ensign Margaret Sheldon and Adjutant Helen Purviance used the limited ingredients available – flour, sugar, and oil – to fry up some doughnuts.

As the mouthwatering aroma spread through the camps, hundreds of army men began to line up outside the 'service hut' to obtain the special treat that reminded them of home. Though the doughnut Girls only managed to make 150 doughnuts on the first day, they became increasingly efficient and were soon distributing as many as 9,000 doughnuts daily. Sheldon even managed to convince a French blacksmith to design a makeshift doughnut cutter, using the top of a condensed milk can, to fulfill the request of a soldier seeking “a doughnut with a hole in it,” Soon, the treat became synonymous with the non-profit organisation and American WWI veterans, who were nicknamed 'doughboys.'

In 1938, during the Great Depression, the Salvation Army's Chicago chapter revived the doughnut-making tradition to provide much-needed cheer, and to raise funds for people in need. The single-day event was so successful that National Doughnut Day became an annual American tradition. Today, many Salvation Army chapters around the country celebrate the occasion by feeding those in need and handing out free doughnuts, made using the original WWI recipe.