Krispy Kreme Offering Free Doughnuts to Blood Donors Amid Worst Shortage in More Than a Decade

Krispy Kreme Offering Free Doughnuts to Blood Donors Amid Worst Shortage in More Than a Decade
An opened box of one-dozen from Krispy Kreme. (Photo courtesy of Krispy Kreme)
Katabella Roberts

Krispy Kreme announced on Monday that it has teamed up with the American Red Cross and will be giving free doughnuts to anyone who donates blood between now and the end of the month.

The announcement comes during National Blood Donor Month and shortly after the Red Cross said it was facing a national blood crisis and the worst shortage it has seen in more than a decade.
In a press release, Krispy Kreme announced that it will give anyone who donates blood a dozen free Original Glazed doughnuts from Jan. 24 to 31 which the company hopes will help the American Red Cross increase awareness of the urgent need for more blood.

"We’re grateful for all that the American Red Cross does for our country and we want to help them," said Dave Skena, Krispy Kreme Chief Marketing Officer. "Hopefully a free Original Glazed dozen will increase awareness and even mobilize those who can give blood. We want them to enjoy the doughnuts with our thanks but also share the doughnuts while encouraging others to roll up their sleeves. We’re also encouraging all of our employees who can donate to do so."

To get their hands on a free dozen, customers simply need to donate blood anytime between now and the end of the month then visit their local Krispy Kreme store where they will need to show proof of donation and the date they donated via their donor band or stick, or the Red Cross blood donor app.

Customers who donate to other blood donation organizations and not the Red Cross will also qualify for the free dozen of doughnuts, Krispy Kreme said.

All types of blood are needed, especially types O positive and O negative, as well as platelet donations, the company said.

The announcement comes after the Red Cross said it was facing its worst blood shortage in over a decade, which poses a risk to patients and has left doctors forced to decide who receives blood transfusions and who will need to wait until more supplies become available.

Due to the shortage the Red Cross, which supplies 40 percent of the nation’s blood, said it has had to limit blood distributions to hospitals in recent weeks. The group estimates that on certain days, up to a quarter of blood needs at hospitals aren’t being met.

The shortage has been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the Red Cross noting a 10 percent decline in the number of people donating blood since the start of the pandemic.

Ongoing blood drive cancellations and staffing limitations have also created further stress, while the recent increase in COVID-19 cases, driven by the highly transmissible Omicron variant, has seen low donor turnout.

Nearly 7 million people donate blood in the United States every year, according to the Red Cross.

As well as putting out a call for urgent blood donations, the Red Cross also said it was in need of volunteers to support critical blood collections across the country by greeting donators, registering them, and answering their questions during the process.

Blood transportation specialists volunteers are also needed to help deliver blood to hospitals in communities across the nation.

"The Red Cross is grateful to Krispy Kreme for helping us thank our generous blood donors who are stepping up to help restock hospital shelves for patients in need during this historic crisis," said Paul Sullivan, senior vice president of Donor Services for the American Red Cross.

"Our Red Cross teams are working around the clock to meet the needs of hospital patients but can’t do it alone. We hope this thank you from Krispy Kreme will help provide a ‘dozen more reasons’ for eligible individuals to make and keep their donation appointments in the days ahead."