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National Donut Day is one of our nation’s tastiest traditions for many reasons.

– Point the First: This day has its roots in WWI, when Salvation Army “doughnut lassies” served between 2,500 – 9,000 donuts a day to American soldiers in France.

– Point the Second: It combines our passion for free food with supporting the troops.

– Point the Third: Many of our favorite donut shops are giving them away for free. You can grab free pastries from Dunkin’ Donuts, Krispy Kreme, Duck Donuts and more.

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Inspired by the doughnut lassies in WWI, the Salvation Army founded National Donut Day in the 1938 to raise money for Army veterans during the Great Depression. To celebrate this day, the Salvation Army gives free donuts and coffee to military members, first responders, and anyone in need. Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ Donuts are also giving out donuts by the dozen.

Learn more about the history of this day and how it’s tied up in American military history in this video produced by the Salvation Army.