Olympian Damian Warner Wants To Help Fill Canada’s Food Banks

October 19, 2021

Food insecurity is an ongoing challenge faced by many families across Canada; among those who have faced this hardship is Olympic Gold Medalist Damian Warner. Now, Kraft Heinz Canada has partnered with Damian to encourage Canadians to join in the fight to end food insecurity. We chatted with Damian to find out more. —Noa Nichol

Hi Damian! Please tell us a bit about yourself to start.

I was born and raised in London, Ontario, which is where I currently call home with my partner Jen and son Theo. I have always been interested in sports, however, I didn’t start track and field until I was 17, after my high school basketball coaches encouraged me to join. When I was a kid I watched Olympians such as Catrina Le May Doan and Donovan Bailey, and they sparked my Olympic dream and I have been in love with the sport ever since. This past summer I had the privilege of representing Canada at the Tokyo Olympics, where I was able to win the gold medal in the Decathlon. Outside of my training I enjoy drawing, video games, travelling and giving back to my community, which has supported me since the beginning of my journey in athletics.

Congrats on your induction into the Canadian Walk of Fame! How did this accolade come about, and how does this recognition feel?

Thank you so much! It such an honour to be inducted among so many great Canadians. I grew up watching Keanu Reeves in the Matrix and playing with Bret Hart action figures, its crazy to think I will be inducted alongside them. Finding out the news fresh off winning the Gold in Tokyo is an amazing feeling—I’m just so honoured and grateful to be recognized, and humbled to know the hard work of my team and I has paid off.

Kraft Heinz Pantry Day has passed, but it will be back next year! How were you involved in 2021?

Kraft Heinz Pantry Day is a donation initiative in partnership with Food Banks Canada. The main goal of the program is to help end food insecurity across Canada. Food insecurity is a national crisis that affects one in seven households, which means over 4.4 million Canadians do not have reliable access to food daily. On October 16, every purchase of participating products was matched by Kraft Heinz and donated to Food Banks Canada, making it the largest one-day donation-matching event for Food Banks Canada. This year I teamed up with Kraft Heinz Pantry Day to help encourage Canadians to participate. This is a cause that is close to my heart because while growing up my family had to rely on food banks to help keep food on our table, enforcing why this is such an amazing and important initiative.

We all know about the existence of food banks, but could you give us more insight into the way they work, who benefits, what their positive impact is and the importance of donations?

Food Banks Canada is wonderful because it is a national organization with the mission of helping Canadians in need put food on their tables. The partnership between Kraft Heinz and Food Banks Canada is beneficial to many families across Canada who don’t have consistent access to food. Knowing firsthand how vital services like food banks were in helping my mom and family, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of giving back. No Canadian should ever be worried about where their next meal will come from, it’s as simple as that!

What types of food do many food banks across the country need most as we approach winter and the holiday season? What are some of your favourite items to donate, and why?

Pasta, pasta sauces, preserved goods, baby food, non-perishable foods and other staples are among the most in demand by food banks. My house is full of Kraft Peanut Butter and KD, and we often donate items like that because they are available in our pantry.

Final, personal question: is there any past Canadian Walk of Fame inductee that you especially look up to?

It’s hard to pick just one Walk of Fame inductee that I look up to because they have all accomplished so many great things and have represented our country to an extremely high standard! But being from London, I’d have to say Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. I’ve had the opportunity to watch them train and compete and the way they carry themselves both on and off the ice is inspiring to see. They’ve been amazing role models for my community and our country.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

get social


get more out of





contact us

let's go ⟶

Enter NOW ⟶

Chinese VITA

Toronto VITA

Want the best, curated headlines and trends on the fly?

get more out of vita


Sign up for one, or sign up for all!