Interesting Postal Shipping Response

I have been doing the postal shipping project a lot lately and have just been sending a few pieces of canned goods to food pantries around the country. Today, I got an interesting response...."We are in receipt of your very small box of canned goods for our pantry. You should investigate for a food pantry in your neighborhood so you wouldn't have to pay such a price to get your donations to someone who could use them. For $9.45 in shipping costs, you could donate a lot more food to a pantry nearby your home". What do you think of this?? I am not likely to respond (nor send more food to this one location), but it was a bit off-putting to me. I guess I need to go back to finding a Post Office Buddy here!!

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Yeah...I wouldn't really appreciate that either. While they are correct about shipping costs, it just seems so ungrateful.
Cake -- I thought so to. And I want to say to them, "Wait! No! I'm not a financial idiot, I am just doing these assignments...."
I see their point and I think it's very nice of them. They would rather feed more people somewhere rather than be selfish and feed less by the food coming to their bank.
plmccut Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I see their point and I think it's very nice of
> them. They would rather feed more people
> somewhere rather than be selfish and feed less by
> the food coming to their bank.

I don't think it's nice at all. No right-minded adult is going to spend $9 to ship a can or two to a food bank unless there's something else going on. The food bank should either respond gracefully or not at all.
cake... Wrote:
>
> No right-minded adult is going to spend $9 to ship a can or two to
> a food bank unless there's something else going
> on.

I'm sure that's partly why they responded. They likely don't know what's going on and found it fishy that someone would do that. Everyone is suspicious of odd behavior today for good reason.
It's none of their business, they should be grateful and not question you about it. For all they know you might come from that area originally and want to support your home area.
I'd be inclined to have someone else (a friend or relative) send them a little note saying that they may occasionally receive small packages of food due to an evaluation of shipping services. That might make them see it isn't suspicious and then they'd realize that it's for a good cause on both ends.
I had often wondered how the food banks felt in getting these little "gifts" and had I been working there I'd be wondering if the food were tampered with in some way.
Maybe they're just thinking--spend less money on shipping so more can be spent on food for the hungry no matter where they are.
I would expect that somewhere in there they would say "while we appreciate your efforts..."I usually send 2lb box of macaroni or dried beans or rice. Easier to package.
Try dog biscuits for the animal shelter/SPCA in a different zip. Ready post I do old mags to a Elder home or Hospital.
To those who are so quick to consider this ungrateful:

Altruism and the concept of donation do not exist for the donor to garner congratulations or kudos. They exist, among other reasons, for the proliferation of good and the benefit of others. This particular food bank found it illogical that a donation was shipped to them at a cost far in excess of the donated items' value. They recognized that further good could be done by the appropriation of that money to more canned goods for a food bank not so far away. I don't so much see this as rude or ungrateful, but pragmatic. A food bank whose philosophy is oriented toward helping others is a food bank with a good philosophy. They merely saw the opportunity to point out that even more could be helped in this particular way. I think you were wrong to take offense to it.

I have a suspicion, though, along with jennstall and plmccut, that the food bank may have, themselves, been suspicious of these strange mail donations. (I wouldn't venture that many people mail in donations of canned goods.) The food bank may have been wary of tampering or other sinister behavior and their letter of reply may have been a roundabout way of addressing the issue. In which case, cake..., they acted very gracefully indeed.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 07/19/2012 03:38AM by hadrian.
Hadrian you said exactly what I've been trying to say but probably not very well. Thank you as that is exactly what I meant.
If I ever do one of these, I already have it in mind to slip a note inside the box saying that they may receive small donations like this due to auditing the postal service. I wouldnt mention the mystery shop company or my name, but would just be truthful and give them an explaination so they won't be concerned about package tampering. etc.

Really, in this day and age, when something unusual comes up like this, people are rightly concerned, wondering what's the catch? Is it poisoned? Disguised bomb!? If they get one of these, who's to say they don't contact authorities because its so 'weird'? For all intents and purposes, who really would spend $10 to mail a couple of cans of food-makes no sense.
I do think the post office had a legitimate concern. There would have to be a good reason for people to buy a dollar or two of a product and then spend a lot of money to ship it. It looks very, very suspicious. Given the cost it is not a dim weight, but rather a pantry the OP chose. I have a feeling the DIM weight shops were clued in, but if I got a random package I would be more nervous about the safety about the contents. The last thing the food pantry wants to do is start poisoning families.
Reading the note, I can imagine how it rankled. My grumpy side read and responded as follows:
> We are in receipt of your very small box ...
Very small? Thanks for the measure of my gift!

> ... You should investigate for a food pantry in your neighborhood...
How about *search* for, not *investigate for*; and, please, I have enough to do than to be told by you to investigate!

> ...to a pantry nearby your home".
And, just how do you know where my home is? Just because it's the return address, doesn't mean it's my home!

Harumph!
/mini-rant

/insert a few giggles

Now that that mini-rant is out of the way, I can understand the caution by the food bank, but I am a little surprised they took the time to write at all. I would almost imagine, depending on what the item(s) was, they would have thrown it out rather than risk it.

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It's probably a PITA to open a package of food that costs $2. I have a little note that I include that reads:

"This package is part of a study of postal shipping efficiency. Please accept this food donation of current, unopened dry goods to your pantry. Have a pleasant day."

Hope this helps.
I am doing a evaluation in the morning and so glad I saw this. I will put a note along side the can food. What a great idea. And I am going to buy dog treats next time for the animal shelter. Thanks everyone...
Yeah, I haven't accepted one of these scenerios but I often wondered if the addresses were provided by the MSC. If so, then shouldn't the MSC let the food bank know they'll be receiving packages?

Not a very well thought out project, is it?
I agree with hudge95.

The MSC should already have a relationship with the organizations. They should know to expect packages. I always thought the organziation was made aware they would be getting random boxes of food.

In my case, I'm sending a large box with the amount of food that meets the weight requirement. The food items don't come close to filling the box.

Sincerely,
H.A.R.D. at work
whoa - let me clarify...

I ship dry goods to a food bank approximately 60 miles from my city for the Schedule A/B shops. It's not the one in the Schedule C shops. I suspect that others on this thread do the same.

I actually know the food bank coordinator in the town 60 miles away; she's an old friend of mine.

She tells me that her volunteers laugh at the single cans and boxes they get mailed... she told them that it's a school project for her friend's students.
The OP mentioned $9.45, so it is not a schedule C. I am assuming then that she gathered her own address.

I hope the post office or MSC has shared with the food pantries they ship to, because sending a couple of cans of beans and some pasta in an oversize box would look even more suspicious.
I would be much more confortable saying it's a school project than that it is an audit of the shipper. Mystery shopping is only a secret if it's not mentioned. Why alert the pantry and/or the post office that this is occurring in this way? Those shipments don't have to be to a food pantry at all. They can be for some other purpose, then just send your checks to food pantries on your own. Why alarm anyone, if that is what is happening, that the foodstuff is being tampered with? Wouldn't you really be embarrassed if the feds caught on that you send one out every so often? What a waste of their time! To add disaster to disaster, suppose the media started investigating. I had wondered why this is suggested in this shop. Maybe the back of my mind was working overtime while the rest of me was oblivious.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/22/2012 04:37AM by Sandra Sue.
I am at a point that I do not want to do anything anymore pertaining to MS or SS there are so many companies that are fraud. I have been involved with one already and now dealing with another one I do believe. I think you are right about putting a note in the box after I thought about it myself. I am just going to send some clothes to the mission who knows what they will do or say. lol
Good grief. The food pantry that you sent it to is just saying that your money would be better spent donating to a local food bank. All of the food banks are hurting and they would rather see the money used to feed people rather than on postage. I don't think they meant any offense by it but are putting their priorities, feeding people, at the forefront.
I would not be put off by it. They are right. May be they could have worded it a bit differently, but imagine being in their shoes and seeing this waste of money on shipping when they are probably in dire need of that very money to feed people. I send mine to a no-kill animal shelter and got a very nice note from them saying basically the same thing. I sent a hand-written note in my next box and explained what I was doing. They do not know my name because it's never on the boxes, and I kept it that way.
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