Salvation Army Celebrates 130 Years Of Service With Free Donuts

June 2, 2023 ·

SANTA MONICA—The Salvation Army Santa Monica will celebrate 130 years of service to the community on Friday, June 2, by handing out 1,500 free donuts. The anniversary lands on National Donut Day, which has historical ties to the nonprofit organization.

Donuts will be given out at several locations across Santa Monica, including at the 3rd Street Promenade, 7th and Montana, Santa Monica Police and Fire Station, and the Salvation Army Family Store at 1658 11th St, courtesy of Lionsgate. A program will be held at the Community Center at 1533 4th Street, which will host city officials, clients, and staff who will discuss the work currently happening in the city. The program lasts from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

According to the Salvation Army, During World War I, “lassies” were sent to the frontlines to support American troops. In the camps, there were very few tools available for cooking, but the lassies, later referred to as Donut Lassies or Donut Girls, found flour, grease, sugar, and baking powder. With wine bottles and shell casings as rolling pins, they rolled out a dough they could fry up into donuts. Some were even fried right inside soldiers’ helmets. 

After World War I, the popularity of donuts endured in America. In 1938, National Donut Day was initiated as a fundraiser to help Chicago during the Great Depression as well as honor the work of the Donut Lassies in World War I. Today, National Donut Day is celebrated on the first Friday of June. 

The Salvation Army Santa Monica started serving the community in 1893, and today continues to provide housing, food, and rehabilitation assistance. At the Community Center, hot meals are handed out Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. The food pantry is open from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Monday through Friday.

By Paige Strickland

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