World Food Day and Kraft Pantry Day are now both on October 16th. This year Canadian Olympian Damian Warner is participating in kraft pantry day to not only help Kraft give back to families in need but also share his story and share some knowledge about food insecurity in Canada.

Food insecurity affects 1 of every 8 households, which is around 4 million people who struggle to put food on the table for themselves or their families. The donations from the money raised from purchased Kraft products will benefit these families and hope to raise $20 million in the next 5 years.

What made you want to participate in Kraft Canada’s Pantry Day? 

Growing up, my mother relied on Food Banks Canada’s services to help keep food on the table, so like many, I understand how important these services are in helping feed Canadian families. In fact, since the COVID-19 pandemic, 1 in 7 households are affected by food insecurity, which means over 4.4 million Canadians do not have reliable access to food daily. It’s more important than ever to encourage Canadians to give back and they can start by participating in Kraft Heinz Pantry Day. No family should have to worry about where their next meal is coming from, and I believe Kraft Heinz Pantry Day is helping address this issue.

As a Canadian Gold Medalist, what ways are you using your platform to spread awareness about #KHPantryDay

I’m fortunate to have such great supporters throughout my athletic and Olympic career, and of course, I have felt the love from Canadians since winning the Gold in Tokyo. More than ever, I feel the importance of using my platform to speak about important issues like food insecurity, which is why I’m proud of being Kraft Heinz Pantry Day’s ambassador. Whether it be sharing the news across my social platforms, speaking to the media, or visiting local food banks – I’m doing whatever I can to spread awareness to help end food insecurity. 

Food insecurity happens everywhere and to a lot of people, what can you tell people about food insecurity, and how important your participation with Kraft is? 

Food insecurity really is a pressing issue that impacts Canadians across the country. As mentioned, 4.4 million Canadians are dealing with food insecurity. From children to seniors, there are so many families that struggle to put food on their tables and it’s so important that they understand there is help for them. We need to diminish the stigma around accessing services like food banks for help. And that’s why it was so important that I participate in Kraft Heinz Pantry Day – to let people know it’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to reach out for help when you need it. I want to see Canadians participate in-store and online on October 16 because working together is the only way we can help end food insecurity for good.

Can you tell us about your story and why you want to participate and spread the word about food insecurity? 

I was born and raised in London, Ontario, which is where I currently call home with my partner Jen and son Theo. As a kid, athletes like Catrina Le May Doan and Donovan Bailey inspired me to become an Olympian.  With the help of my coaches, family, friends and community I was able to achieve that and win an Olympic Gold medal for Canada at this year’s Olympics.  

While growing up, my mother had to rely on services such as Food Banks Canada to help put food on the table. So, I know firsthand how difficult it can be not having a reliable source of food. Because of this giving back and supporting my community has always been top of mind for me, so I jumped at the opportunity to further spread awareness and encourage Canadians to participate on October 16. I want to teach my son it’s okay to ask for help, and it’s just as important to give help to those who need it when you’re able to do so. 

In helping with Kraft Heinz pantry day, what products do you love using, and hope other families can have these products in their homes as well?

Food banks need items such as pasta, pasta sauces, preserved goods, baby food, non-perishable foods and other staples. That’s why I like giving Kraft Heinz items – many products are staples in our pantry like KD and Kraft Peanut Butter. My family uses Kraft Heinz products daily, as do many other Canadian families.

But for me personally, it’s Kraft peanut butter.  It’s been a favourite of mine since I was a kid!

Article published by HOLR Magazine