The Hot Potato Initiative

The Address

The eyes that meekly met mine were of different variety than what I had been accustomed to: I was not staring into a set of green-speckled irises that reflected the prospect and opportunity of the city I was oh-so-proud to call my home. They were off in a subtle, disheartened way that reflected a future of bleak expectation and continued despair; in a way that could only ever be recognized by looking the man set out before me, clothes tattered and hands held open, in the eye with distinct intention. I looked away.

That was the most dangerous thing I could do.

What compelled me to do it? Perhaps it was the deep-seated disgust I had for the homeless — the very same I was taught by society. Somehow, the amount of zeroes we had in our checking accounts suddenly became an appropriate metric from which we were assigned our worth as human beings. This idea that the less fortunate members of my community were somehow “lesser” than I was, that they were degenerates or “bums”, had creeped up upon one of the most socially progressive and inclusive cities in the world until one day it had become the norm. Nobody seemed to notice.

And so began this project; born not out of convenience, but of desperate, urgent duty by citizens who were raised with the values that made Canada Canada. The Hot Potato Initiative is a youth-led movement to eliminate the stigma around those who live on the streets and inspire citizens to take action in alleviating the homelessness crisis.

I hold to this day the adamant conviction that we will see a day when the homeless are no longer the forgotten citizens of our community, and this toxic stigma is put to rest. The adamant conviction that we will see a day when our fellow citizens actively alleviate injustices and relentlessly inspire change. It is with this very same adamant conviction that I hope you will help us bring this day to fruition.

Ivan Chiang
Founder & Executive Director


We bake & deliver potatoes to do our part in offering immediate short-term hunger alleviation.


We campaign to destigmatize homelessness through social media & outreach.


We foster empathy among everyday Canadians in stepping up for the less fortunate.

The Partners

The project’s nature as a startup, grassroots, student-led movement means The Hot Potato Initiative is facilitated only with the collective help of our community, including the generosity of established businesses & organizations. As project of this calibre poses significant logistical and financial challenges, we absolutely welcome potential partners and sponsors. The movement engages the public year-round with biographical stories and other original content, as well as curated pieces from external media outlets and organizations. Partners will be able to demonstrate to the community a commitment to being socially progressive and civic-minded, through positive exposure in the form of media coverage, word of mouth, as well as promotion through our social media channels and web presence.

Sponsorship Package
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