Salvation Army’s National Donut Day: Joey Chestnut Wins 1st-Ever World Donut-Eating Championship

UPDATE: Joey Chestnut, best known for being a multi-year winner of Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contests (currently reigning champ), won the first-ever Salvation Army National Donut Day World Donut-Eating Championship by downing 55 coffee and water dunked donuts in 8 minutes. The event took place at Santa Monica Place Mall on Friday before a slew of media and a lunchtime mall crowd.


Joey Chestnut (center) won the Salvation Army’s World Donut-Eating Championship by downing a world-record 55 donuts in 8 minutes. (PHOTO:

READ BELOW for history of National Donut Day and The Salvation Army’s one of many services to the U.S. and world.

SANTA MONICA – Number-one-ranked competitive eating champion Joey Chestnut, a San Jose native, will make his way to Santa Monica to compete in the first-ever Salvation Army National Donut Day World Donut-Eating Championship, an event focused on not just entertainment but giving back – as part of a fundraising challenge for much-needed veteran services in greater Los Angeles.


Top Competitive Eaters Converge in Santa Monica to Win $2,000 in Prize Money

Major League Eating is proud to team up with The Salvation Army for the first-ever National Donut Day World Donut-Eating Championship, slated for June 2, 2017 at Santa Monica Place, located at 395 Santa Monica Pl. Santa Monica, 90401. Competitors will be in place and ready to go at 12 noon. Then they’ll have eight minutes to consume as many glazed donuts as they can. Will there be a new world record in the donut discipline? Let’s see how the donut crumbles!

“Major League Eating is honored to celebrate the Salvation Army’s significant role in bringing the donut from the Western Front of World War I to every town in America,” says event MLE emcee Sam Barclay. “And we will celebrate the only way we know how—by eating a lot of donuts, very, very quickly.”

National Donut Day History

This event is part of The Salvation Army’s annual tradition, National Donut Day, which began in 1938 as a fundraiser and a way to honor the memory of The Salvation Army’s volunteer “Donut Lassies,” who served some of the comforts of home (donuts and coffee) to soldiers during World War I. At the time, these volunteers were the only female non-military personnel stationed on the front lines – and they prepared the donuts using hot oil, a stove, and the steel helmets made by the U.S. military.

Today, the Salvation Army’s tradition of caring for our men and women in uniform continues full-stride. In Southern California alone, The Salvation Army operates numerous homeless shelters to help veterans get back on their feet, including Bell Shelter—one of the largest homeless shelters in greater Los Angeles. Major League Eating is honored to join The Salvation Army to help bring attention to their considerable work.Donut Day

About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, has
been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination since 1880 in the United States. Today, more than 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and underprivileged children. About 82 cents of every dollar raised is used to support those services in 7,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to

About Major League Eating

Major League Eating (MLE), the World governing body of all stomach-centric sports, conducts more than 80 events annually, including the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog-Eating Contest in Coney Island, N.Y. The competitive eating community, which numbers more than 8,000 veteran and rookie athletes, travels the World in search of top titles and the glory that they provide. For more information, visit
Donut Day

Press Contacts

Major League Eating: Tess O’Brien, 212-352-8651
The Salvation Army, Southern California: Robert Brennan, 818-648-9098
Alexis Hauk, 770-361-5826



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