"What truly resonated for me about this was seeing the images of kids suffering," Mehta told NBC News. "Once we got engaged, we started talking about the future and thinking seriously about kids. In this day and age, we cannot have kids who go hungry, so I felt very passionately about what was happening there." Courtesy of Poonam Kaushal and Nishkaam Mehta The couple first met at the University of California, Irvine, in 2003. After a decade-long friendship that blossomed into a deeper relationship, the two got engaged last year. With careers in pediatrics and technology (Kaushal is a pediatrician, Mehta works in the tech industry), the two decided to use their backgrounds to contribute to their shared advocacy for fighting child hunger in impoverished countries. "When I would [volunteer in] these regions and [see] the impact that limited nutritional resources have on a child's potential not just on their health, but even their academics, it's tied into so many things. Seeing that has always left an impression on me," Kaushal said. Their goal: to provide a million meals to schoolchildren affected by Boko Haram violence in Cameroon by February 14, the same day Kaushal and Mehta will officially tie the knot in a civil ceremony. "For us, on that cause, it was natural for us to somehow incorporate it into our wedding. We realized that if we could maximize that donation and effectively replace the idea of a traditional big wedding, it immediately felt right," Kaushal told NBC News. In addition to the 40,000 meals the couple have already donated from their wedding funds, Kaushal and Mehta have reached a goal of 97,334 meals, as of Feb.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/amp/instead-ceremony-couple-donating-their-wedding-funds-fight-child-hunger-n716666