It’s a Mad, Sad World. But Maybe Not. By Angela Caldin

mad world my mastersIt really is a mad world. That’s the only possible conclusion I can come to. This week in the UK, the prime minister of all people has spoken up in support of the egotist Jeremy Clarkson; Rona Fairhead, a non-executive director of HSBC, has as good as admitted to the Public Accounts Committee that effective governance processes were not in place at the bank, but has not resigned; Ian Duncan Smith continues to extol the virtues of the Universal Credit welfare benefit system while so far only a little over 1% of the total claimant count have made a claim and two IT systems are running expensively in parallel.

Meanwhile, in New Zealand, Michael Woodhouse, the Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, has responded to concerns about zero hours contracts by blithely suggesting workers find a different job; promoter Duco planned a boxing bout (now cancelled) involving vulnerable Teina Pora, acquitted and out of prison for only a couple of days after serving 22 years; dental surgeon Dr Rob Beaglehole pleaded with parents to realise that sugar consumption from fizzy drinks is a ticking timebomb causing tooth decay, diabetes and obesity, with toddlers as young as 18 months old being taken to clinics to have rotten teeth pulled.

In Praise of Mum’s Mince

Depressing isn’t it? That’s what I was thinking as I went about doing some data entry of donated goods on my voluntary day at the Auckland City Mission. Every single item that is generously donated, be it food, furniture, clothing or household goods is meticulously recorded so that donors can be thanked and the items donated can be accurately quantified. I began to realise that one item kept on coming up under the name of Mum’s Mince and my colleagues explained that a network of women all over Auckland were making dishes of food on a monthly rota and bringing it in daily to the Mission so that the homeless people who use the Mission’s Drop-in Centre would be sure of some hot, home-cooked food for their evening meal.

Mum's MinceMum’s Mince started in the kitchen of Rachel Morris. Here she is in her own words:

“I was grateful for my situation and wanted to give back in some way. I was hugely aware of the fact that I was only where I was due to others’ love, kindness and support. I truly believe one act of love and kindness undoubtedly leads to another. I’m also aware we’re all a product of our childhood, and we all have different starting blocks.

I had started making a pot of mince on Mondays and taking it down to Auckland City Mission, which was always appreciated. A homeless lady once said to me with a tear in her eye, ‘There’s nothing like a home-cooked meal.’ And she was right; a home cooked meal represents love, warmth, nourishment and safety. Then life once again got busy and my weekly Monday mince drop off was becoming more sporadic. This was really stressing me out, as the Mission wasn’t getting their mince. Then one sleepless night it came to me! Share the responsibility of the mince! So I did.  I called up my besties and my mum and put together a wee roster. My girlfriend Tam has since urged me to open this up to others who may want to give back also. The response has been overwhelming…”

So then I suddenly felt a great deal better about the world if it has people like Rachel Morris and her friends in it. She sees her initiative as a two-way street, helping others, but touching her as well through doing something good. As she says, ‘Everyone deserves a home-cooked meal every day. You can’t achieve anything on an empty stomach.’

There’s more about Mum’s Mince on their website at:

They also have a Facebook page at:

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