The Famous Salvation Army Doughnut

UPDATE: As you read this, please consider donating to the Salvation Army, who have been providing relief to victims of Hurricane Katrina and will, soon, provide relief to victims and first responders to Hurricane Rita.

The doorbell rang and Damsel went to the door to peer through the little porthole to see who was there. Looking out, she saw an older man dressed casually, with a grocery bag. Damsel is very cautious and surveyed the visitor for a few seconds before turning on the green light to open the door.

It turned out that it was Mike White from our local Salvation Army Citadel. Mike presented Damsel with a box of six of the ‘Famous Doughnuts‘ as a treat for us for our support over the years. Wow! Doughnuts!

Mike’s visit inspired me to look into the ‘Famous Doughnuts’ and I found this on the Southern California Salvation Army webpage (click on the ‘Famous Dougnnut’ display ad):

Lassie and a Soldier

On The Front Lines

The Salvation Army won its recognition during World War I for its work overseas. However, it was the doughnut that caught the doughboy’s fancy.

In August 1917, fighting raged near Montiers, France, as soldiers huddled in camp – hungry, weary and drenched by 36 consecutive days of rain. In a tent near the front lines, Salvation Army “lassies” (young, female Salvation Army members) made doughnuts by filling a refuge pail with oil. They made dough with left over flour and other ingredients on hand, and used a wine bottle as a rolling pin. With a baking powder tin for a cutter end a camphor-ice suck tube for making the holes; doughnuts were fried – seven at a time – in soldier’s steel helmets on an 18-inch stove. (Later, a seven-pound shell fitted with a one-pound shell was used to cut out the doughnut holes.)

Rain fell continuously and the water-soaked tent collapsed, but the 100 doughnuts made that first day were an immediate success. Soon, as many as 500 soldiers stood in muck outside the resurrected tent, waiting for the sweet taste of doughnuts.

Doughnuts Invade Home Front

Following the war, the returning “doughboys” brought back the taste of doughnuts with them – the doughnuts that The Salvation Army lassies had fried and served for them in France.

The doughnut’s identity with The Salvation Army stuck. Doughnuts appeared everywhere The Army did. Ever since that August day in France 81 years ago, millions of servings of “hot coffee and doughnuts” have been provided free by The Salvation Army to fireman, rescue workers, disaster victims – anyone in need. Salvation Army lassies made doughnuts the popular wartime food, and the doughnut came to symbolize the good work of The Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army Famous Doughnut is again on the front-lines of war. This time around, however, the battle is being fought against the unfair penalties of poverty: hopelessness, homelessness and hunger. You can help The Salvation Army replenish its financial ammunition by purchasing a box of The Famous Doughnut, available now in your local Ralphs Grocery Stores.

Now, I don’t want to encourage anyone to eat a lot of these, but don’t the Salvation Army Doughnuts look good?