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On Friday, the CoServ Charitable Foundation Board of Directors gave $20,000 to First Refuge Ministries, an outreach of First Baptist Church of Denton, according to a news release.

The grant benefits the ministry's food pantry and medical clinic supplies project.

First Refuge offers free medical care, counseling and food services to the needy in the area. First Refuge has locations in Denton and Sanger, providing free services to more than 13,000 people in 2019. The ministry serves uninsured Denton County residents making 200% or less of the poverty line. First Refuge partners with churches. Leaders hope to open seven more locations in the next five years.

“We understand that seeing a doctor and buying healthy foods are basic needs, that not everyone has access to,” said Paul Juarez, executive director of First Refuge.

One in 12 people are living below the poverty line, and one in 9 live without health insurance in Denton County, according to the release. One in 5 live below poverty line and one in 6 people don't have health insurance in Denton. Most of the uninsured and low-income in that demographic are young women, according to the 2018 Denton County census.

— Staff report 

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