UK-based supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has invested £25m ($28.9m) as part of a cost-of-living support package for its hourly paid colleagues.

From 16 October, the hourly retail colleague pay for Sainsbury’s and Argos will increase from £10.00 to £10.25, while the rate for London staff will rise from £11.05 to £11.30 an hour.

The new pay rates are expected to benefit 127,000 hourly paid colleagues across retail, local fulfilment centres and customer service contact centres.

The autumn pay rise will add £20m to the company’s wage bill and brings its total investment in colleague pay to £150m.

It will take the pay increase for hourly paid frontline workers to 7.9% this year and 28% over five years.

In addition, colleagues will receive basic food items during shifts from the first week in October until the end of December through the support package.

Sainsbury’s chief executive Simon Roberts said: “Every day, I am hearing from colleagues who are really feeling the pressures of the rising cost of living.

“That’s why we are doing everything we can to help our colleagues as they face rising bills and living costs this autumn by investing £25m into a package of support, including an early pay increase.

“This is the first time we have given two pay rises in the same year. Our top priority is to support our customers and colleagues.

“We are proud of our track record on colleague pay and, with this latest package of an additional pay rise, free food at work and bigger colleague discounts, we are very focused on doing as much as we can to help our colleagues and their families through this autumn and winter.”

In July this year, Sainsbury’s pledged a £5m investment to support sustainable technology start-up businesses.