SUDBURY -- Remembrance Day is now less than a month away and this year, it will look a little different. Local legions have had to make some changes to the way they sell poppies.

Officials with Lockerby Legion 564 say planning for the local poppy campaign began last November, and they still plan on selling them. They say even though some things had to change, they are confident it will be safe for all involved.

“Instead of wearing the poppy box around their neck, the poppy box will be on a table six feet in front of them,” said Jennifer Huard, president of the Lockerby Legion 564. "All of the COVID-19 protocols will be in place, they will be wearing masks, they will be wearing gloves, there will be hand sanitizer at the tables.

“The poppies will be on the tables as opposed to in the box. So, you don’t need to worry about touching something else that someone has touched.”

The president of the Capreol Royal Canadian Legion Branch 179 also had to put some safety measures in place.

Big difference this year

“The big difference this year is you won’t see the people in the mall with the poppy boxes, because of COVID,” said Louis Dines, president of the Capreol Royal Canadian Legion Branch 179. “We can’t put them on you and the restrictions as far as the handling goes, you will, however, see the poppy boxes in the stores such as the LCBO, beer stores, grocery stores and the small variety stores.”

This year, the Royal Canadian Legion made non-medical masks for all veterans, and also made some to be sold to members of the public. So far, more than 40,000 have been sold across Canada. Local legions said sales have been better than expected.

“The sales for Legion masks have been incredible,” said Huard. "We’ve had to reorder a few times now, they are selling off the shelves and they’re very popular. We are out right now but we are expecting another shipment anytime.

“We have had quite a few orders," said Dines. "In fact, the first shipment we had sold out, it wasn’t that big of a shipment but we had to put in a second order and were still getting orders for them.”

Officials say proceeds raised will go towards supporting local Legions.

The National Poppy Campaign will begin Oct. 30.