This past Sunday, the Boston Local Food Festival took over the Rose Kennedy Greenway in the heart of downtown Boston. The sunny and 75-degree weather created the perfect backdrop to showcase over 100 vendors and exhibitors, and gave over 30,000 visitors a delicious experience in local food and sustainable living.
Growing up in Philadelphia, Morgan Berman, co-founder and CEO of My MilkCrate, always had a connection to urban living and tasty good food inform her childhood. “It started earliest with my mom being a farm-to-table chef and part of that movement in Philadelphia, growing up between an art school and a community garden,” she said. “So I got to see design and local food coming together in this very physical way in my childhood.”
By connecting New England eaters to the abundance of fresh and nutritious local food options, My MilkCrate acted as the interactive food festival in your hand for patrons on Sunday.
Presented by the Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts, the festival chose My MilkCrate to be the official app of the event. As the official app, My MilkCrate promotes partnered businesses, organizations, and the event itself—before, after, and during the event. The app makes it easy for people to navigate the food festival and other events hosted by SBNM.
Continuing her journey in urban areas, Berman’s first career as a social worker gave her the opportunity to work with very disadvantaged, low-income women. When she saw the impact the loss of local, well-paying jobs had on the Philadelphia economy, Berman recalled, “It really helped bring home why it’s important to support small, local businesses—to also make fresh, local food accessible.”
It wasn’t until after working at Apple for a year that Berman saw how she personally could help urban populations locate the food she knew could be difficult to find. While helping people learn how to use mobile technology, Berman was inspired to take what she viewed as the limitless nature of mobile technology and apply it to something she and so many others are passionate about: sustainability.
The app was created one year ago in Philadelphia, Berman’s hometown and the birthplace of her sustainability focus. My MilkCrate is currently used in three U.S. cities: Philadelphia, Boston, and Denver, and, according to Berman, will hopefully grow to Washington, D.C., and Brooklyn in the next year.
My MilkCrate can be very beneficial to Bostonians beyond its ability to promote sustainability events around the city, Berman argued. The advantage of My MilkCrate is that users can find local, sustainable restaurants near them, learn about sustainable businesses and services in the area, and access a calendar for events in their city they might want to attend. The app enables consumers to spend their money at businesses that uphold their values and eat food that is good for them, as well as the earth.
“What we really want to do is help demonstrate that people can make a difference with their dollars, and that by showing people the impact they can have, actually shift spending and grow the local, sustainable economy,” Berman said.
Looking to the future, Berman wants her app to enable consumers to locate and connect with the food sources they desire and help grow those resources by making them more accessible. For an event like the Boston Local Food Festival—one that showcases farmers, local restaurants, food trucks, fisherman, and organizations focused on healthy lifestyle—My MilkCrate seems like a natural choice for the official app.
Now for Berman, when the Philadelphia native comes to Boston, there’s only one food choice for her: lobster.
“I am not the vegan on the team,” she said.
Featured Images by Leslie Sellers / Heights Staff