As everyone knows, the first friday of June (this year June 5) is traditionally known as National Donut Day — a day to celebrate the cakey morning treat. And who doesn’t love donuts? The food obsessed comedian, Jim Gaffigan has a bit about his love affair with them. Homer Simpson dreams about them. You can even take a quiz to find out what your favorite donut says about you. Apparently, I’m a hidden delight…jealous? Of course donuts have their own day; they certainly deserve it.
National Donut Day is not actually about donuts. Yep, you heard me right! Well okay, it is a little bit about donuts but it is really in honor in the men and women who worked with the Salvation Army during World War I to serve food on the frontlines of France. According to the Salvation Army they were there to do more than just serve food “they were there primarily to give spiritual aid and comfort to the American soldier and his allies. They were there to be a link with home and family.” And so National Donut Day started during the Great Depression, to raise awareness and fundraise for good work the Salvation Army was doing.
It is hard to imagine the little taste of home, the little bit of joy, that these men and women must have brought to the soldiers in the trenches of WWI. The front line and the home front combined when they fried these donuts in the helmets of the servicemen due to lack of equipment. And I can empathize. I always lived for the Sunday when the announcements at the end of Mass included, “everyone is invited to the parish hall after Mass for some light refreshments” aka “there will be donuts or at least donut holes”.
So this Friday, while we are enjoying one of the many types of donuts, take a moment to remember the reason behind this day and those who went to the front to be with those fighting and brought so much more than a donut.