WINNIPEG -- The Royal Canadian Legion said demand for masks originally designed for veterans in care homes has skyrocketed and now they'll be sold to the public.

“They’re good quality masks,” said Rick Bennett, the past president of the Manitoba Northwest Ontario Command, noting the masks are made of polyester with a mesh layer, and are washable and reusable.

“We want everyone to be safe and wear a mask,” he said.

“They’re designed so that the air that you expel when you’re talking, or anything like that, does not travel through the mask.”

The graphic arts department at the Royal Canadian Legion of Kanata initially designed the masks to give to veterans in care homes, but now they'll be sold to support Canada's veterans.

“They sort of took off, so now they’re manufacturing them and selling them,” Bennet said.

The proceeds from the masks partly go to the legion itself, but also to the poppy fund, which helps veterans and their families.

Bennett said the COVID-19 pandemic has made things difficult for the Royal Canadian Legion.

“I know the legion has written the minister of veterans affairs and the prime minister about helping the legions across Canada,” he said.

He said he’s not sure what will happen with this year’s Remembrance Day ceremonies and poppy drive.

“It’s going to be tough to stand there and canvas poppies because of social distancing,” he said.

As for anyone who is interested in buying one of the masks, they can purchase them at a legion or can call the office to find out how they can get one. The masks can also be found online.

“This is just another way to remember our veterans,” Bennett said.