Watch the film’s premiere June 10 at 7 p.m. on MPB. PBS is making the film available online at

The City of JXN announced that Fertile Ground, a documentary examining the extensive impact the industrial food system has on Jacksonians, will air on June 10 at 7pm on Mississippi Public Broadcasting TV. MPB will re-air the documentary on June 21 at 5p.m.

See the trailer here.

The Fertile Ground documentary follows the life of local residents experiencing challenges accessing healthy food options, while also detailing the systematic policy failures that have allowed “food swamps” to thrive.

Featuring interviews with local farmers, food activists and city leaders, the documentary also spotlights the growing possibility to transform Jackson’s local food system. This documentary is part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge.

The film is part of a larger initiative called “Fertile Ground: Inspiring Dialogue About Food Access”, which uses public art as a medium to inspire dialogue about food access in Jackson, Mississippi. The City of Jackson was awarded the grant from the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge in November 2018. 

“This project is so important because we live in abundance, but we operate from a place of scarcity and in our society there is no justification for anyone to go hungry or anyone to not have access to healthy food options,” said Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba. “In many respects, food is love in our communities. Food is a reflection of how we demonstrate our appreciation for people.”

In addition to this documentary, the project is made up of physical installations deployed within food deserts across the city, community engagement sessions, a podcast series, performance art, a food policy roadmap, and a project opening expo that has been postponed due to COVID-19. The project brings together an interdisciplinary network of artists, designers, architects, farmers, chefs, nutritionists, policymakers, and community members to discuss the complexities of the City’s food system. To keep up with the project updates please visit the Fertile Ground website. 

Salam Rida, City of Jackson Urban Designer said, “The documentary is an art project that inspires a larger conversation about the issues with our global food system. The COVID-19 crisis has brought a newfound awareness to Jacksonians about where their food comes from and how global supply chain volatility can disrupt our everyday lives. At the City of Jackson we hope communities can use this moment to move forward on how we would like to address food access and decentralize some aspects of our food system.” 

“In spaces where people have very little to offer, food is one of the few things that they can give you to demonstrate their love and appreciation for you,” Lumumba said. “The Fertile Ground documentary does an excellent job of portraying just how prevalent the problem of food access is here in our city and I am proud to have members of this administration actively working to remedy this issue for our citizens.” 

The documentary team is comprised of homegrown, a host of Mississippi talent including, Executive Producer, Robby Piantanida; Director, Alex Warren; Director of Photography, Aaron Phillips; Producer, Jocephus “Skipp” Martin; Sound Mixer, Taiwo Gaynor; and Set Photographer, Drew Dempsey.