Packages of red, white and blue M&Ms will be sold to raise money for disaster relief.

The idea came from workers on the M&M assembly line in Hackettstown, N.J., on Sept. 11. The candy went into production days later.

At first, the patriotic candies were handed out only to rescuers at the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

"The response that we got from relief workers -- literally, from everyone who saw it -- was that it was just terrific," said Robert Gamgort, vice president of chocolate for M&M/Mars. "Doesn't everyone in the United States need a boost right now?"

The company marketed flag-colored M&Ms once before, over the last Fourth of July, but this is the first time the candy has been sold for charity.

Profits from the 5 million packages, expected to top $3 million, will go to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.