All seeds in Canada and the United States must pass minimum germination requirements before they can be sold. This means that if you plant a sample of the seeds, a certain number of them must come up. Any seed batches not meeting these standards cannot be sold.
I think that whoever donated these seeds probably did so either because they didn't meet the germination standards, or they had been improperly stored. Either way, the germination rate was an impressive 0%. Not a single pepper sprout has come up. In contrast, the hybrid tomatoes from McKenzie Seeds that I planted had 100% germination. (Actually, more, because one seed sent up twins!)
So when trying to save money on seeds, remember that buying fresh seeds can save you money by their improved performance over old or free seeds. If I want peppers this year, I will now have to buy plants instead of the less expensive seeds I could have bought.