Free food! Baton Rouge Krispy Kreme wants to trade you doughnuts for spare beads _lowres

Krispy Kreme in Baton Rouge is offering free doughnuts in exchange for donating beads. (AP file photo)

Don’t let anyone tell you those Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day beads have no value. Next week, they’ll be worth their weight in doughnuts.

Krispy Kreme of Baton Rouge is joining its Metairie location in collecting beads for charity. From March 23-25 , people can bring their beads to the 5504 Plank Road location, where 12 pounds of beads will be traded for a coupon good for a dozen doughnuts. The beads will be accepted from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. those days.

Krispy Kreme General Manager Donnie Bradley expects no shortage of beads. The store collected nine 64-cubic-foot pallets of beads last year, its first time to participate in the effort, and he’s preparing for more this time. That’s a lot of beads, which translates into a lot of doughnuts.

The beads will be donated to the Arc of Greater New Orleans, which will sort, restring and sell them for next year’s Carnival season. Bradley said he had hoped to find a Baton Rouge charity as a recipient, but hasn’t found one.

“Hopefully, by next year I can get somebody local and help the community out — getting rid of beads, giving away doughnuts and giving the beads back to somebody here in Baton Rouge,” Bradley said.