Salvation Army founded National Donut Day

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - June 1st marks National Donut Day. The holiday was first celebrated in Chicago in 1938, and donuts have since grown into one of the most popular breakfast foods around.

In the history of donuts, it can be said that what goes around comes around.

Back in 1917, the Salvation Army began providing food and support to U.S. Troops fighting in World War I.

"Right with the troops, just right behind the front lines and serve them food and give them clothes and serve them baked goods as well," said Salvation Army public relations coordinator Haley Hoar.

The organization became known among the soldiers for hot coffee and sweet donuts.

"The 'donut lassies' served donuts to the troops in World War I in the trenches," Hoar said.  

The women and volunteers served donuts as often as they could due to rations, but when the wars ended, the donut craze stayed.

Now more than 10 billion donuts are eaten around the world each year.

"Food has always been a very social thing," donut lover Liz Danly said. "More so than people give it credit for."

Aylen Burton and Liz Danly rolled into a Tyler donut shop today and said they believe the popularity is due to the design.
"So donuts being a thing that you can buy in bulk and share with a lot of people," Danly said. "I think is especially in the mornings, cause that's a time when people come together, you wake up and eat breakfast."

Or maybe it's the variety of options.

"There are so many different flavors and different kinds that you can eat," said Dunkin Donuts employee Collen Adams. "And you can have sprinkles and so many different toppings on them, and they are amazing."

Now 80 years after the first National Donut Day, the Salvation Army will still bring around the glazed comfort food.

"Anytime we go to an emergency situation, we obviously bring water and food, but we also bring donuts," Hoar said.

Industry data shows the average American eats 63 doughnuts per year.

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