Rollingwood resident creates program to help businesses and feed health care workers

Matt Silk, left, delivers food from Modern Market Eatery to a St. Davids Medical Center health care worker. (Courtesy Matt Silk)
Matt Silk, left, delivers food from Modern Market Eatery to a St. Davids Medical Center health care worker. (Courtesy Matt Silk)

Matt Silk, left, delivers food from Modern Market Eatery to a St. Davids Medical Center health care worker. (Courtesy Matt Silk)

Matt Silk said he has been fortunate in his career as a real estate fund manager and tech investor, but now that coronavirus has impacted just about everyone on the planet, he said feels like it is time for him to steel his focus toward helping his community.

"Sitting around and watching the news every day and staying home is going to drive me crazy," Silk said. "I'm an entrepreneur at heart, and I like solving problems."

Because of Silk's need to help his community, www.atxhospitalmeals.com was born.

Silk, a Rollingwood resident for the last three years and an Austinite for the last 10, said www.atxhospitalmeals.com serves two purposes: It helps struggling restaurants by purchasing food in bulk, and feeds dozens of health care workers with each purchase.

With the help of several volunteers, Silk and his team make sure restaurants who sign on for his program meet hospital safety guidelines. Right now, there are six restaurants signed up with his program, but Silk said he would like to add more as soon as he can.


So far, Silk and his wife have made all of the deliveries. The first endeavor consisted of a big box lunch order from Texas Honey Ham Company to St. David's Medical Center on 32nd Street in Austin.

Silk and his wife have since made deliveries every day to the same location at St. David's, and Silk documents the trips on www.atxhospitalmeals.com.

On March 28, they delivered 35 dinners from Don Don Express. On March 29, St. David's workers got a big order from Modern Market. On the 30th, the food was from Cedro Scratch Italian & Wine Bar. On the last day of March, the big order was from Tacodeli, and on Apr. 1 the delivery consisted of Chilantro's signature bowls.

For right now, Silk said he is laser-focused on the logistics of his program, which is why so far, the only recipients have been health care workers from the St. David's location on 32nd Street.

"The worst thing we could do is spend $500 on food and then show up and have the hospital say they can't accept it," he said. "So let me really figure out how I can turn this into a program, and then, I'll go and ... [deliver to] another hospital and figure out how much I can grow and scale this."

Silk started building his website March 26 and made his seventh delivery April 2.

He has already been talking with his contacts at St. David's and working to expand into another location within that hospital network.

"Then we'll do another, and then, another, and then, who knows how big this will get?" he said. "But yeah, that's been my last week or so."

Silk and his wife have maintained strict adherence to Centers for Disease Control guidelines, which is evidenced by numerous pictures on his website showing him, his wife and the healthcare workers to whom he delivers all clad in rubber gloves and masks.

There is a national organization with a similar model that delivers food to healthcare workers that Silk points to called https://frontlinefoods.org, which he said was the inspiration for his program.

"I think the last time I was on their website, they had 11 cities up and running," Silk said, adding that Austin is one of those cities. "And they are ... trying to get national funds so they can get programs started in other cities, so there are great things happening. I'm just a little program focused on getting deliveries done, but you're seeing more and more groups pop up, and everyone's joining the mission of, 'How do we recharge and nourish our frontline workers?'"

For more information on how to help Silk's program, click here.
By Brian Rash
Brian has been a reporter and editor since 2012. He wrote about the music scene in Dallas-Fort Worth before becoming managing editor for the Graham Leader in Graham, Texas, in 2013. He relocated to Austin, Texas, in 2015 to work for Gatehouse Media's large design hub. He became the editor for the Lake Travis-Westlake publication of Community Impact in August 2018.


MOST RECENT

COVID-19 hospitalizations also increased to 97 in the Austin metro. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
88 new coronavirus cases in Travis County on June 1 set single-day high

COVID-19 hospitalizations also increased to 97 in the Austin metro.

Protesters and Texas Rangers stood face to face during demonstrations at the Texas Capitol on May 31. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
National, state, local officials continue to blame outside agitators for turning protests violent over the weekend

As violence erupted in Austin and cities across the country over the weekend, leaders from all ranks said outside groups usurped the demonstrations and turned them chaotic.

Businesses shuttering their doors due to coronavirus restrictions lowered the sales tax revenue collected by cities in May compared to May 2019. (Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas comptroller reports 13.2% year-over-year state sales tax revenue drop in May

Tax collection revenue fell significantly in several sectors from May 2019 to May 2020, according to the comptroller's office.

Bull Creek
Study finds municipal water runoff responsible for more than half of stream flow in parts of Bull Creek

A recent study found municipal water sources, such as irrigation runoff or wastewater leakage, account for at least half of Bull Creek’s stream flow in some urban areas.

Demonstrators gathered at the Texas Capitol on May 31 to protest police brutality. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas officials respond to demonstrations, unrest in wake of George Floyd killing

Gov. Greg Abbott issued a state of disaster in Texas on May 31, while various city officials and law enforcment responded to protests and violence over the weekend.

A group of 16 mayors from municipalities within Travis County have signed a letter to County Judge Sam Biscoe requesting a per capita approach to the issue of COVID-19 relief funding. (Screenshot courtesy Kara King)
Group of 16 Travis County mayors signs letter requesting $23M in county COVID-19 relief funds

City leaders in Travis County, from Bee Cave to manor, have signed a letter to County Judge Sam Biscoe requesting more than $23 million in federal coronavirus relief funds be released to 21 municipalities as soon as possible.

Domino's opened a new location in Bee Cave (Courtesy Domino's)
New Domino's Pizza location opens in Bee Cave

A new Domino's Pizza location has opened in the Bee Cave area.

Protesters march toward the Texas Capitol. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
PHOTOS: Demonstrators gathered in front of the Texas Capitol as protests against police brutality continued nationwide

Protests against the killings of Goerge Floyd and Michael Ramos took place throughout the weekend in Austin.

There have been 1,168 coronavirus recoveries in the county since mid-March, and active cases in Travis County are estimate at 2,011. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Weekend update: Austin metro coronavirus hospitalizations drop to lowest level since April 28

There have been 1,168 coronavirus recoveries in the county since mid-March, and active cases in Travis County are estimate at 2,011.

Demonstrators gathered in front of the Texas Capitol on Sunday, May 31, to protest police brutality. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Concerns over violence from outside groups force organizers to cancel ‘Justice for them All’ protest at Texas Capitol; demonstrations persist downtown

Demonstrations occured across the nation to protest police brutality in the wake of the death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd.

Austin City Hall (Christopher Neely/Community impact Newspaper)
Some on Austin City Council want more of its $272 million coronavirus relief package to go to residents in need

City Council will determine how much to put toward direct financial assistance at its June 4 meeting.

Candidates in the Senate District 14 special election responded to Community Impact Newspaper's questions about their campaigns to fill the vacant seat in the Texas Senate. (Design by Shelby Savage/Community Impact Newspaper)
Q&A: Senate District 14 candidates discuss the issues ahead of July 14 election

There are six candidates running in the special election to fill the seat of former Sen. Kirk Watson through 2022.