While National Donut Day may seem like a gimmick developed by donut stores to sell more of their treats, the day actually traces its roots all the way back to 1917. During World War 1, the Salvation Army sent “lassies” (these were the only women outside of those in the military to be able to go to the front lines) to make home cooked meals and give support to the soldiers. One of the foods they often cooked for the troops was donuts, often using the soldier’s metal helmets to fry the dough. This is why WW1 American soldiers were often referred to as “doughboys.”
In 1938, it became an official day created by the Salvation Army to honor those of WW1 and to raise funds during World War 2. Over the years, it has grown in popularity, and donut stores have joined into the act, often giving away a free donut to customers who come in as part of celebrating the day.
Today, it’s mostly known as a free donut day. Donut shops actually offer one of two types of freebies on this day — an actual free donut to customers with no purchase necessary, or a free donut with the purchase of something else on the shop’s menu. While the offers may change slightly from year to year, here are some of the basic offers you can find at some popular donut stores across the country:
Cumberland Farms: Free donut with the purchase of a drink.
Dunkin Donuts: Free donut with the purchase of a beverage.
Fractured Prune Doughnuts: Free Donut, no purchase necessary.
Honey Dew: Free donut with the purchase of a beverage.
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts: Free Donut, no purchase necessary.
LaMar’s Donuts: Free Donut, no purchase necessary.
Shipley Do-Nuts: Free Donut, no purchase required.
Tim Hortons: Free donut with the purchase of a beverage.
When is National Donut Day?
National Donut Day is celebrated on the first Friday of June each year.
National Donut Day Dates
Friday, June 5, 2015
Friday, June 3, 2016
Friday, June 2, 2017
Friday, June 1, 2018
Friday, June 7, 2019
Friday, June 5, 2020
Friday, June 4, 2021
Friday, June 3, 2022
Friday, June 2, 2023
Friday, June 7, 2024
Friday, June 6, 2025
(Photo courtesy of tinymwriter)